Elections board sees little interest for May 7 vote
LISBON — The county elections board met Wednesday in preparation for the May 7 primary election, but there does not seem to be much public interest.
Director Kim Fusco reported only 372 have requested absentee ballots so far, and that includes 21 who stopped by the office to vote early. That is a far cry from even-numbered election years, when there is a steady stream of people showing up at the board offices to vote early.
“It’s not going to be a real high turnout,” Fusco said.
“Which is expected,” chimed in board president David Johnson.
The chief reason for the lack of interest is there is only one contested race: the Republican primary race for the county municipal court judgeship being vacated by retiring Judge Mark Frost, which features Katelynn Dickey and Vito Abruzzino.
There only seven issues on the ballot, which is not many compared other elections, and none are countywide.
In other news, Fusco reported they ended up going with the Salem Computer Center instead of Selectus Consulting to purchase a Lenovo laptop computer, a ThinkPad and related equipment to create a way for those voting early in the office to sign in using an electric card reader system.
The board decided in early March to go with Selectus, although it was more, because the firm provided a three-year warranty. Fusco said Selectus was unable to deliver the equipment by the promised date, pushing it back to April 2 at the earliest. The staff approached Salem Computer, which offered to provide the same equipment sooner for $1,944, plus a three-year warranty instead of one year as originally proposed.
Officials pointed out Salem Computer’s bid ended up being $300 cheaper, and board members were glad they were able to spend the money locally.
Deputy director Bryce Miner said it was important they get the new system up and running as quickly as possible so the staff could practice using it. The goal is to work out any bugs before the November general election voting season begins, when they expect to see a substantial increase in early voting.
The board will next meet at 6:30 p.m. May 6 to address any last minute problems before voting begins the next day.