Last updated: August 24. 2013 2:08AM - 83 Views

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LIMA ó Facing two big elections and extra work mandated by the state this year, the Allen County Board of Elections wants to shore up its short salary account sooner rather than later.

The boardís salary account is $14,000 short and it will take up the issue with commissioners. The salary account also includes no money for overtime.

The board, at its Wednesday meeting, told elections Director Keith Cunningham to request a meeting as soon as possible between board members and commissioners.

The staff of six this year is facing two large elections in May and November and also will take on a big task mandated from the state involving checking driver licenses and voting records against each other for inaccuracies, Cunningham said.

Following the May primary during a relative lull before the November statewide election, the state will reconcile countiesí voter records against driver licenses or Social Security numbers. The work is a requirement of the federal Help America Vote Act. Those that donít match will be sent on to county elections boards to figure out.

The voter records needing legwork and mailings will easily be in the thousands, Cunningham said, during one of the few times of the year when employees could otherwise scale back hours.

In 2009, the Elections Board did not make employees take furloughs as many other county departments did; Cunningham made the commissioner-required cuts in other ways.

This year, commissioners did not request a prebudget meeting with elections officials and funded every line item in the elections budget but the salaries, Cunningham said.

Deputy Director Ken Terry and Cunningham agree the Elections Board canít find the needed money in other line items.

Cunningham presented the board with four options: requesting the money from commissioners; suing for it, which the board has the legal authority to do; splitting the cuts among six employees; or splitting the cuts among the six employees and four board members.

Board members said they should approach commissioners about the workload in the office this year and appeal to have the account funded now rather than spending it down and making the request later in the year.

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