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County meets state election standards

ELIZABETHTOWN The Personnel Committee of the Essex County Board of Supervisors recently received its first bit of good news regarding election preparation. Personnel Officer Daniel Palmer informed the committee that the county had received certification for its software system. Essex County is the second in the state to receive the certification. Much of the work was done by county employees, with information services Mike Brenish and Luisa Towne doing the programming. The system was mandated by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Democratic Election Commissioner David Mace explained that the countys database is now synchronized with the states, and will be cross-referenced to avoid voter fraud. The good thing about this system is it does not have any duplicate voters in the system one voter, one vote, Republican Election Commissioner Lewis Sanders said. Mace said the state is supposed to go live with the system in the next 2-6 weeks. Many of the counties are paying to have vendors perform the service. Mace said that doing the work in-house saved about half of the cost. Palmer said the county is applying to be reimbursed $45,954 for the labor and cost invested in the project. Mace said the voter database was one part of the HAVA project. HAVA is an ongoing headache for election officials, since New York State is behind on the process, and has yet to certify an electronic machine. The state was sued last year by the federal government for its lack of compliance with HAVA. Clips from the County The Personnel Committee: Learned that efforts to have the County Department of Public Works contract for Horace Nye Nursing Home maintenance was moving forward. The Finance Committee Received a report from County Treasurer Michael Diskin. Sales tax revenues are up $228,000 so far this year, and occupancy tax rates are up $38,000. Discussed the countys current policies toward providing lunches for trainings and other events. The Audit Committee is expected to discuss possibly revising the countys rules. Supervisors voted during a Finance Committee meeting May 21 to oppose any move of North Country Community Colleges main campus out of Saranac Lake. Schroon Supervisor Cathy Moses, St. Armand Supervisor Joyce Morency, and North Hudson Supervisor Robert Dobie were absent, and North Elba Supervisor Shirley Seney abstained, resulting in the resolutions failure. Another attempt to reject the colleges proposal is expected to take place at the Ways and Means meeting on May 29.

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