Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Down Period for Clay Elections Office

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Down Period for Clay Elections Office

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, County Line staff writer

The Clay County Supervisor of Elections Office has had little breathing room since Florida's elections last fall.

Contrary to popular belief, the Elections Office did not go into "hibernation" after the 2002 voting cycle concluded, said Supervisor Barbara Kirkman. Employees are busy planning for a countywide sales tax referendum in March and attending conferences.

"Some people ask what we do when we don't have elections and they actually think that we only work every other year," Kirkman said. "That is as far from reality as you can get. There hasn't been any down time in the Elections Office since the 2000 presidential election."

Problems with Florida's voting systems in that election delayed the results and drew in the U.S. Supreme Court. Since then, she said, "elections and procedures have changed forever."

"We are working frantically to keep up with all of the dictates and new laws and trying to keep abreast of technology," Kirkman said.

The next test for the Elections Office is a March 4 special election for the Clay County school district. Voters will consider a half-cent sales tax increase for school construction. The ballot question will ask voters:

"Shall a one-half cent sales surtax be levied in Clay County for a period of 20 years, beginning Jan. 1, 2004, to finance educational facilities, including construction, reconstruction, renovation, remodeling, land acquisition and improvement, retrofitting and the purchase of technology equipment, hardware, software for the Clay County school district?"

Clay residents who are not registered to vote and want to participate in the referendum must register by Feb. 3. Also, voters who want to vote absentee should call the Elections Office and request an absentee ballot be mailed to them; let the office know of changes in names or addresses.

For more information, call 269-6350 or 284-6350.

In addition to preparing for the special election, employees in Kirkman's office recently attended the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections conference. …

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