Madison County moved closer Nov. 5 to the establishment of a county election board.
The commissioners agreed to hold public hearings in late November and early December to get input on their plans to establish a three-person board to oversee county elections.
That responsibility now falls on the county probate judge, who is an elected official. That means the probate judge must oversee his or her own election when facing opposition.
Probate Judge Cody Cross said his office has been “election minded” for the past year and that probate work has been affected by the extra election duty. He has asked that the BOC strip him of the responsibility, along with the pay that goes with it. The state sets that pay at a minimum of $323 a month.
“That’s a car payment,” said Cross. “But that’s how much I believe in establishing this board and believe that it’s right for the county.”
The BOC plans to have a three-person board, with the county chief registrar — now Tracy Dean — serving as the chairman. The other two board members will be nominated by the Republican and Democratic parties in the county, with the BOC giving official approval.
Ruth Ann Tesanovich of the Madison County Democratic Party took the podium Nov. 5 and told the BOC that the local Democrats support having the parties pick a board member.