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Essex County changes election worker training

The Essex County Board of Supervisors

The Essex County Board of Supervisors Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— The Essex County Board of Elections (BOE) will have a new way to train election workers by bringing it to them.

A resolution to purchase a cargo trailer with a flip-down rear door for the Board of Elections to transport voting machines for poll worker training at a cost not to exceed $3,500 with 95 percent coming from HAVA funds and the remaining from budgeted funds from the BOE was passed by the Board of Supervisors after some debate on what would be the most cost-efficient way to handle poll training expenses.

Republican Commissioner Derinda Sherman said that the purchase of a trailer to take the polling machines and training to the 18 towns in the county would eliminate spending for mileage.

“We do pay 55.5 cents per mile for every inspector,” Sherman said. “We tried to have them share rides last year and, quite frankly, that did not work because the people like their mileage check along with their training. We will be put off funds if we continue in this path.”

Board Chairman Randy Douglas said that he was in favor of renting a trailer instead of purchasing one.

Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava also recommended going to fewer sites than all 18 towns.

"Why not do it at four different sites instead of all 18, and then it would cut the travel for each town," he said.

Sherman said that only going to a few locations would not fully realize the savings of a purchased trailer.

"Mileage would be zero instead of a few thousand dollars," Sherman said. "This would be an ongoing savings not to pay mileage to bring these inspectors to."

Sherman said that the move to purchase a trailer and hold training outside of the county seat was purely a cost saving move.

"It is easier to train here in the pod, but we wanted to do this as a cost-saving measure," she said.

Willsboro Supervisor Ed Hatch was against the motion.

"I feel that this is a wasteful use of money, and I will not support it," he said.

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