County clerk's office gears up for Aug. 6 special election of rural fire associations

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Only voters in the Slater and Marshall rural fire protection association's boundaries will vote in the Tuesday, Aug. 6, special election. (Graphic by Carlos Restrepo with information from Marshall Fire Department)

The Saline County Clerk's office will be conducting a public test of the county's voting machines at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, in the clerk's office. The public test is in preparation of the Tuesday, Aug. 6, special election that will decide the fate of two rural fire associations.

"The purpose of that test is to run our test deck through a machine to prove that it does work in an accurate fashion," said County Clerk Debbie Russell during the Saline County Commission's Tuesday, July 30, meeting.

The day following the election, the clerk's office will have a certification test in which the chair people from each party will hand count the ballots and check the accuracy of the voting machines.

"Generally, they do a hand count and a machine count during that test," Russell said. "Once that's done, we can certify the election."

The Aug. 6 election will decide whether the Saline County and the Slater rural fire protection association's can become fire districts, thus switching from a membership format to taxpayer funded. Only residents within the two fire association's boundaries can vote in this election.

"I've heard everything from maybe 200 voters to 500," Russell said in regard to the expected voter turnout. "I think there is only 2,200 eligible voters in that combination of Slater and Marshall rural."

Since this is a special election, voters should take note of their assigned polling place because some places are being consolidated for this election only.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Blackwater precinct, Hardeman precinct, Herndon precinct, Mt. Leonard precinct and Marshall rural wards will vote at the Martin Community Center.

Miami precinct will vote at Miami Community Building.

Orearville precinct, Gilliam precinct and Slater rural wards will vote at the Methodist Church in Slater.

Voters may contact the county clerk's office at 660-886-3331 regarding questions about eligibility or polling places.

"Hopefully there won't be any confusion on that," Russell said. "I will have signs on all the voting precincts. Hopefully we can get that word out."

In other news, the commission approved a request from the Marshall Chamber of Commerce to use the east side lawn of the courthouse on Sept. 13 for the Santa Fe Trail Day's Chuck Wagon Dinner.

The commission will open bids Wednesday, July 31, for three trucks to be leased by the county for the bridge and road department.

"We own the trucks now, and Justin (Cowart, Bridge and Road Supervisor) has been exploring the idea of going to a lease like we do with our graders," Fenner said.

Contact Carlos Restrepo at crestrepo@marshallnews.com

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