WILMINGTON — It’s looking more and more likely the Clinton County Board of Elections will not be moving out of the courthouse.
Local officials last year looked at potentially moving the board of elections off-site from the county courthouse due to the elections board’s need for more space.
In the meantime, people have agreed that voting and the election process have historically been done in the courthouse and that it’s a priority to keep the elections board offices there, Clinton County Commissioners President Kerry R. Steed said Monday.
What’s being seriously considered now is to start storing voting machinery on the courthouse’s third floor in what is presently the law library. Officials have said previously that the hundreds of bound books in the law library are basically behind the times because attorneys now do most of their research online.
On Monday, commissioners and board of elections officials looked over the law library’s main room in person. Elections officials think the space can serve their purpose in securing election machines, and at the same time open up space in the board’s first-floor corner rooms.
Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley said further discussion of the proposal has to take place — things such as determining cost, touching base with the law library board, performing safety checks of an upper loft to make sure it’s as stable as it looks, and discussing the proposed change with staff from other courthouse offices potentially affected by the decision.
Nevertheless, Haley said the proposal is feasible if the cost to taxpayers is reasonable — which appears to be the case, he added. Keeping the elections offices at the courthouse is a priority for him, he said.
Clinton County Commissioner Brenda K. Woods recently made an on-site visit of Fayette County’s new set-up for its board of elections. She said they use a cage system to secure their elections equipment and for transport.
Clinton County Board of Elections Director Shane Breckel said Clinton County has the same type of elections system and equipment as does Fayette County, and said he’s interested in a cage set-up or something similar here.
And Clinton County Board of Elections member Ann Reno said during the discussion at the courthouse, “Historically, we’ve [the county’s board of elections] always been here.”
In other news, commissioners plan to attend township trustees and village council meetings to keep in touch with those legislative bodies, and to offer residents closer accessibility to the county commissioners. The first such commissioners visit will be to the Wayne Township Trustees’ regular meeting at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27 in the township building at Lees Creek.
In a letter to the trustees’ Clerk Erin Morrow, the commissioners stated, “We will most likely have brief discussions concerning the needs of your township, and a few minutes to conclude any business that comes before the Board of County Commissioners. As always public comments and discussions are welcomed.”
The Wayne Township Building is located at 12 Cox Road, Lees Creek.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.