“The money is just not there,” said Davidson County Election Commission chairman Ron Buchanan, who vehemently denies that the commission’s decision to gut early voting for the August election had anything to do with voter suppression. Buchanan says that the mayor’s office forgot that the commission and Metro had agreed in November to convert 12 part-time employees, who had been working full-time hours for the past couple of years, to full-time staff members, which would move the funds to pay their salaries from the poll worker budget to the commission’s recurring expenditure budget. The disputed amount is $470,000. “I think they (Metro finance department) have made a huge mistake,” Buchanan said.
“It seems complicated, but it is not rocket science. We took that money out of one bucket and put it a different one, but Metro just took it all out.”
When I called Buchanan on Monday, he was perturbed by the characterization of the commission’s 3-2 vote to cut early voting sites for the August Metro elections down to the state-mandated one location as a political move.
The vote Wednesday went along party lines, with Republican-appointed commissioners — Buchanan, Jim DeLanis and Jenifer Lawson — voting for the reduction pending greater funding. Democrats Tricia Herzfeld and A.J. Starling voted against it.
Full Article: Budget ‘misunderstanding’ endangers early voting.