Commissioners re-discuss electronic voting machines

by dentonramsey

Commissioners re-discuss electronic voting machines

By Denton Ramsey / Staff Writer


The key issue addressed at the Brewster County Commissioners Court meeting Monday morning was a discussion on whether or not to continue with the process of choosing Unilect as the county’s election system.

The court voted to stay with the system.

Unilect, a PATRIOT Voting System, is currently going through a re-certification process by the Texas Secretary of State.

“They are scheduled for an examination on Aug. 18, at which time all remaining issues will be settled with examiners,” Elections Officer Alice Tidwell said. “I believe we should stick with Unilect.”

The commissioners also addressed a Road and Bridge Department issue regarding paving the streets for the city on weekends. A motion to endorse the ongoing program was approved.

Another item of discussion at the meeting was the 2006 Budget. According to County Judge Val Beard, the budget, at this time is “nothing more than a working document.”

Some of the issues addressed include state court costs, overhead for motels/hotels and other “in and out items” in the budget, she said.

“All revenue items will be re-examined again,” Beard said.

In the elections department of the 2006 budget, Tidwell talked about expenses during an election year.

“Postage is one of our biggest expenses,” Tidwell said. “From mail outs to sending out voter registration cards, postage becomes a major expense.”

Also discussed was the consideration of adding a new secretary to the sheriff’s office, something the commissioners feel is “necessary to speed things up,” said Beard.

Sheriff Ronny Dodson will address the commissioners at their next meeting to discuss the idea in further detail.

Another big issue involves the cost of electricity for all county buildings, including the county jail.

“The jail pays for its own operation,” Beard said.

In the Road and Bridge Department, the biggest issues involved salaries, fuel and repair and maintenance.

When looking at the gap between revenue and expenditures, there seems to be only a relatively small increase, something Beard called “very doable.”

County commissioners will meet again next week to further discuss the 2006 budget.


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