In light of the problem that was experienced by our election office this past election, especially with how absentee ballots were handled, I think it is time for our Floyd County Commission to look into how our election office is being managed.
I recently had an experience at the election office that left me dumbfounded. I took my wife’s and my absentee ballots to the election office two days before the deadline to submit them. I could not believe what I saw. Right behind the counter in boxes and bins were already submitted absentee ballots. Thousands of them right in plain view of visitors.
I could not believe that they were not under lock and key. I thought that the importance of these ballots certainly deserved better security. I then thought that anyone such as a custodian or maintenance worker who had access to this office could have easily destroyed or even taken some of them. This could have happened.
Just imagine if a voter checked to see if their ballot was counted and it was not. What a black eye this would have been for the election office of Floyd County. This really made me wonder about how this office was being managed. Seems like our election supervisor had no vision.
Another one of my concerns about how this office is managed has to do with the actual counting of the absentee ballots. After the polls were closed and the actual absentee ballot-count began, it was discovered that the machine supplied by the secretary of state’s office was not working properly. A programmer had to be called in. This delayed the count until the next day.
Well, none of this had to happen. The secretary of state’s office allowed absentee ballots to be opened and scanned days before the actual election. Again, with 11,000-plus absentee ballots to count and with a new machine, where was his vision? This was permissible and he chose not to do so. If he had done so, the problem would have been resolved before election night.
Earlier this year the election office created an uproar on the handling of weekend voting. The election supervisor had chosen to handle weekend voting his way, which was not the correct way. The city attorney had to correct him. He never offered an apology for making his wrong decision.
This is not the first complaint questioning the performance of this office. The president of the local NAACP voiced a complaint in a letter to the editor three weeks ago referencing inadequacies from this office. There is talk already on a national level concerning the possibility of voting fraud and voter suppression occurring in the upcoming November election. The Floyd County Commission who oversees the election office needs to make sure that our election office will not be subject to such scrutiny.
Larry G. Morrow Sr.