FLINT TWP. — Better to be safe than sorry.
That was the message township clerk Kathy Funk conveyed to the Flint Township Board of Trustees, Oct. 1, when she asked the board to approve the expenditure of approximately $33,000 to bolster her office’s preparedness for the upcoming general election, Nov. 6.
Funk said the township has 106 voting booths, but needs another 136 booths to meet state recommended guidelines. Since 2008, she said, the state Bureau of Elections has recommended one voting booth for each 100 registered voters per precinct.
“It is predicted that anywhere from 4 million to 4.2 million voters (statewide) will take part in the November gubernato- rial election,” said Funk. “The Bureau of Elections has issued the following warning: If you provide only the minimum number of voting booths, you will have an Election Day failure. I don’t want a failure.”
Funk recommended the purchase of 136 portable voting booths at a cost of $94 per booth or a total of $12,784. She also requested an additional $20,000 to cover election inspector wages and other necessary expenditures that are, in part, necessary due to the elimination of straight-party voting.
She said she will need about $13,000 to pay election workers and the other $8,000 as padding, if needed.
Trustee Barb Vert asked that each item requested be voted on separately, so the issue was divided into separate motions – one for the voting booths and the other for paying the election workers.
Very said she had some concern over the use of the word “stipend” when referring to how the election workers were paid. Stipend is consider a small amount of money paid to an employee or elected official for attending a meeting, said Vert.
The board agreed the election wages would not be considered a stipend and both the wages and the election booth purchase were approved unanimously by the board.
Township employees will be sent to Grand Rapids to pick up the voting booths to eliminate the cost of shipping, said Funk.