The Peoria County Board of Election Commissioners held its annual meeting on August 11, 2020. The first order of business was to swear in new Board member Dr. Arun Pinto who has replaced retiring member LaColis Reed. Officers of the Board were elected, including the reelection of Matt Bartolo as Chairman.
During the previous week, the State's Attorney held a meeting to determine if several Libertarian candidates would be on the ballot. In spite of objections by a County citizen, the three candidates were found to have valid petitions with 344 of a needed 335 signatures.
Many of the expenses for the November election will be reimbursed by the State. These include Covid costs like face masks/shields, hand sanitizer, and single finger covers for the voting machines. The State will also reimburse for part of the expense of judges, even though there should be fewer needed.
As of August 11, almost 14,000 applications for Vote By Mail had been received. There will be another mailing from the Secretary of State later this month, so there will probably be more applications received after that.
When Director Tom Bride was asked about requiring face masks at polling places, he deferred to the State's Attorney. Some individual polling places may have their own requirements. The State's Attorney recommended a talk with the Health Department. This topic will be discussed again next month.
The Board also discussed the 2021 Budget Request that needs to be approved by the County Board. Expenses next year should be lower, since there will only be local elections. A big expense coming in 2022 will be a voting system. The one currently in use is sixteen years old. The Board asked Director Bride to put a half time position back into the budget.
Irene Pritzker, Observer
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