When they should be contemplating increases:
Officials in multiple counties have told their local elections officials to find ways to reduce spending for the upcoming budget cycle, which begins July 1. Such cuts could impact preparations for the 2020 general election, as well as increased precautionary measures to ensure voters' safety at the polls.
State Board of Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell said several local boards have already noted that they expect at least some budget reductions as county commissioners finalize budgets in the coming weeks. That includes Chowan County, whose elections officials were asked to make a 10 percent cut.
Not just no, but hell no. Find those cuts somewhere else, because our democracy is already on a fricking ventilator right now. We actually need to expand early voting sites to keep people from having to travel across the county and lining up, and unpaid volunteers (especially elderly) are going to be even harder to find than usual. And we can't make the mistake of assuming General Assembly Republicans will do the right thing:
Speaking before members of a House committee dealing with North Carolina's COVID-19 response Tuesday, Brinson Bell said running an election amid a pandemic will require a laundry list of legislative changes. Her proposals included expanded options for mail-in ballots, an Election Day holiday and more flexibility for early voting.
BergerMoore has gotten their marching orders from Trump, who says voting by mail is "horrible" and "corrupt," even though he voted by mail himself in Florida. But even without that idiotic influence, GOP leaders are much more likely to make voting harder than the other way around. They've done it before, and they'll do it again.
Hopefully by October the situation will be more manageable, but county boards need to be prepared to handle several issues, and staffing is a big one:
The numbers informed the fear among residents who decided to vote Tuesday, braving crowds and even some hail to cast their ballots. Milwaukee had a massive drop off in poll workers ahead of Tuesday’s election, forcing the city to close all but five of its polling station. Some residents had to wait more than two hours, while covering their faces with makeshift masks and trying to maintain proper social distancing.
Get that? Milwaukee has about 600,000 residents, and they only had five voting sites open. The last thing we need to do is tie the hands of our county election boards by cutting their budgets.