The Davidson County Election Commission is not flinching in a budget dispute with the mayor’s office that could result in the elimination of early voting satellite locations this election. The ball is now in the court of the Metro Council as it prepares to vote on a 2015-16 operating budget Tuesday that could decide how many early voting sites operate next month. Election commission chairman Ron Buchanan, at a commission meeting Thursday, vigorously defended the commission’s 3-2 vote last week to operate only one early voting site ahead of Nashville’s August election — the number required by state law — if the Metro Council approves Mayor Karl Dean’s recommended budget without more funding added to it.
In a statement following that meeting, the council’s Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Bill Pridemore said he plans to submit a substitute budget with an additional $283,500 for the elections office — a figure he said fellow committee member councilwoman Sheri Weiner determined would cover the opening of all 11 early voting sites.
Pridemore also said he is certain that the council would consider extending additional funding later in the year “upon the demonstration of the need.”