With all members in attendance, the meeting went smoothly. The Election Commission is still overpaying on the water bill at Brandywine. The County, as leaseholder, is supposed to take care of changing this, but Mr. O'Connor has not yet met with the landlord. Director Tom Bride will bring this up to the County Adminstrator when he meets with him soon. The new Election Commission website should be up and running since Friday, December 15. It is using the same platform as Peoria County.
Three Peoria polling places might be changing. Northwoods Community Church no longer wishes to be a polling place. Unless they change their minds, precinct 92 will vote to the North Branch Library, and precincts 91 and 94 will move to Prayerview Church on Wilhelm Rd.
Candidate filing for local primary races went smoothly without any objections. Software for the pollbooks is being upgraded. And the State's Attorney's office is working on tax exemption for the Brandywine property.
Chairman Cummins expressed concern about the LWV website review which downgraded the Election Commission site because it was difficult to find the dates of meetings. Director Bride explained that the new website should be more user friendly.
All members of the Election Commission were present at this meeting. In going over the month's bills, they discussed the excessive water bill. The September bill was for 30,000 gallons of water! It seems they have been paying for the utilities for the whole building, even though they are leasing only a percentage. Director Tom Bride will be talking with the County who is working with the owner. The Election Commission should get a credit back from the owner.
The budget which will be presented to the County Board has six full time employees and one vacancy. Tom asked for another full time person, but was granted .6 (24 hrs/wk). The County will give a raise of 1.04% to all unrepresented staff. Mr. Bartolo felt that this was too low for the hard-working staff and recommended a 2% raise. This was passed as a budget amendment. Tom Bride believes more money could be given the staff within the budget. The Commission's attorney says they are researching how much discretion there is. Elected officials have more discretion. The attorneys are looking into how much commissions have.
June 13, 2017 - The Peoria County Board of Election Commissioners met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 13. For the first time, Chief Judge Paul Gilfillin sat in on the meeting. The Board approved training for both Director Tom Bride and his assistant Elizabeth Gannon. Tom will be attending an Annual Conference where he will gain recertification. Elizabeth will receive four days of training on new software.
The Governor has indicated that he will sign automatic registration into law (he had not yet as of this writing). Tom Bride is looking forward to receiving registrations electronically instead of on paper. This will lead to cheaper processing and fewer errors, omissions, etc.
The meeting took place in order to certify the results of the April 4 consolidated general election The first order of business was to end the tie in the election for Hollis Park District. Mother, Anita Zeine, and son, Russell Zeine, were tied after the April 4 election. It was the first time members of the Commission used the tie-breaker protocol. First, Chairman Collins pulled a party name out of a bag to determine who would draw a number first. Then Anita Zeine drew a four from chits numbered one through ten. Russell Zeine drew a six and was declared the winner.
The Commission approved a change in the hours that the office would be open to the public. Even though staff arrives at 8:00 am, the doors will not open until 8:30 to give staff time to get organized and ready for the day.
There was actually higher voter turnout for the April 4 election than in the last two off-season elections.
The percent voting in the city was almost 20%, but because there were more registered voters this year, actual numbers were higher.
After an update on the Brandywine building, the Commission wanted it on the record that they were unhappy with the length of time it has taken to ready the building. Unfortunately, the Commission is not the leaseholder; the County is. Hopefully, things are now on track for remodeling to occur and for a tentative move in date to be planned.
In answer to a question from an attendee, Director Tom Bride explained in detail what determines a valid mail-in ballot. First, the ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day. Then two judges, one from each major party, determine if the signature is a match. If there is any question about the validity of the signature, the voter is given the opportunity to prove that the ballot should count. That is why there is such a gap between Election Day and the day votes are certified. -- Irene Pritzker, Observer
The Peoria Election Commission held their monthly board meeting on Tuesday afternoon at the Election Commission offices. They started by approving the payment of various bills and the changes to several polling places. All county polling places are now set, except for the one at Lake Camelot which has an issue with accessibility because of a bridge being out. That change will take place after the bridge repair is finished. Single polling places were merged in order to save on the cost of elections. One polling place was changed because of a poor cell phone signal required for same day registration.
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