MOUNT VERNON — Kim Horn, director of the Knox County Board of Elections, asked the Knox County Commissioners to keep her, and her staff, involved in the decision as to where to relocate voting machines and other election supplies in the event that county 9-1-1 Plan revision is approved.
The equipment is currently stored in the basement of the Knox County Service Center. The room, approximately 1,040 square feet, is also used to prepare voting machines for election day as well as post-election services.
“This room has served us very well for seven years,” Horn said. “It provides all that is required for proper maintenance of voting equipment.”
In addition to programming the 200 voting machines, the machines are tested, audit information is retrieved, poll worker bags are packed and ballot boxes are stored in the area, Horn said. On election nights, poll workers report to the basement “test” room.
Horn explained she has heard rumors the test room could be relocated to several unsuitable locations, however, Commissioner Teresa Bemiller said no decision has been made as the board of commissioners is awaiting results of the local government votes on the 9-1-1 Plan.
Bill Moody, chairman of the board of elections, reiterated Horn’s request that should the revision pass, the commissioners refer to the Board of Elections for input as to where the test room would be relocated. He also expressed some areas in the service center would be good for storage but would not be optimal for the work that needs to take place with the voting machines.
Commissioner Thom Collier said he is concerned with using quality office space storage or warehousing purposes when office space is needed.
Bemiller said that early on in the planning stage of the 9-1-1 consolidation project, there was a conversation regarding the space that is available in the basement of the service center and the Board of Elections was included in that.
Horn said that with the rumors floating around, and the increasing possibility that the 9-1-1 Plan revision will pass, that “I feel our office is not included in the conversation.”
Bemiller, Collier and Roger Reed, were all in agreement that once the final vote is in regarding 9-1-1, a collective conversation will begin with the Board of Elections.
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