Warren County Election Commissioners could receive an additional $100 for working election days, as well as reimbursement for travel expenses.
“Election commissioners currently get $55 a month,” said Election Commission administrator Donna Smith. “We are asking for that to be increased to $100 per month per commissioner.”
The Election Commission is responsible for calling, canvassing and certifying all statutorily required elections in Warren County. Five election commissioners oversee the operation of the Election Commission. They have a monthly meeting and work every Election Day.
The request for an increase was made to the county Budget and Finance Committee on Thursday which met to review the proposed budget of the commission for fiscal year 2017-18.
Smith says $55 a month is not enough for all the commissioners do.
“That includes Election Days,” said Smith of the $55. “On those days, they come in at 6:30 a.m. and they don’t leave until midnight. Whenever the election is all totaled up and the unofficial results are available, that’s when they leave.”
On Election Day, the commissioners visit all 20 precincts during the day and are not paid any extra for the time or reimbursed for travel expenses.
County Commissioner Terry Bell says increasing the monthly amount will open the floodgates for other committee members expecting the same amount.
“The problem we run into is that if you go straight out $100 a meeting, every committee we’ve got will expect the same,” said Bell. “You’ll even have county commissioners wanting $100 a meeting. I don’t have a problem with finding some way to pay them on Election Day, because I understand they aren’t getting paid for that and they are working all day.”
Commissioner Carl E. Bouldin agreed, “I don’t have a problem with that, if we can figure out how to do it.”
Committee members unanimously approved $100 for working election days, as well as Smith reimbursing them for mileage on those days.
Any committee decision throughout the county’s budget process must be approved by the Warren County Commission before it is considered final.