Poll workers for special elections approved despite dissent

Poll workers for the two special elections scheduled in May were approved by the Jefferson County Election Commission Wednesday night, but not before minority party member Stu Soffer objected.

Soffer complained that poll workers in previous elections were no longer capable of doing their jobs, and wanted Elections Coordinator Will Fox to consult with election judges on the proposed workers before the commission approved them.

“In the past, we have had complaints about poll workers who were not physically or mentally capable of doing the job anymore and since we hold the election judges accountable, we need to ask them to review the list,” Soffer said.

Commission Chairman Ted Davis said he was concerned “about having to have the approval of an election judge to work at the polls.

“That could create a lot of problems for us,” Davis said.

Davis and Commissioner Shara Williams approved the proposed list, giving Fox the authority to make adjustments as necessary. Soffer cast a dissenting vote.

The commission voted to accept the recommendations of Fox to use four polling sites for the Watson Chapel School District millage election, and one polling site, the White Hall City Hall, for the White Hall bond election May 14.

Fox said Watson Chapel School Superintendent Danny Hazelwood had requested the four sites, with Davis saying that the four sites this time was “300 percent better than the last time” when one polling site was used for the district’s millage election, which failed.

The one polling site at White Hall was requested by the mayor, Fox said.

On another matter, Soffer balked at signing paperwork the commission had received from bond attorneys for the Watson Chapel School District calling for the special election.

“We do not work for the bond company and they’ve got nothing to do with calling the election,” Soffer said. “We’ve never done this before and it’s inappropriate.”

Soffer also contended that sending the bond company a copy of the approved commission minutes was all that was necessary.

“We’re not required to sign and I’m not going to sign,” Soffer said.

No paperwork was presented to the commission to sign for the White Hall bond election.