The Peoria County Election Commission held its monthly meeting via teleconference with all commissioners attending. There were two main topics covered: county budget cuts and vote by mail.
The county had asked the Commission to cut 23.9% of their budget, but Director Tom Bride pointed out that those cuts would be next to impossible. $73,000 goes toward building expenses that other County departments do not have, since they are primarily located in the courthouse. Another $135,000 goes to licensing and support contracts involved in voting. The second largest part of the budget is election judges. Savings could possibly be found by reducing early voting days, reducing polling places, and cutting a half time worker. He could see no way to meet the goal of reduced expenses and still meet statutory obligations. No one knows what the elections will look like in November. Director Bride expects some money from the state and federal governments, but he has no idea how much.
As for voting by mail, staff is looking at three different scenarios: the same percentages as in March, half of all votes coming by mail, and all votes coming by mail. Without payments from the state, the last scenario would be extremely difficult.
Irene Pritzker, Observer
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