Supervisors consider alternative voting methods

The Washington County Board of Supervisors is exploring alternative ways of voting.

Recently several supervisors expressed interest in possibly getting away from the traditional method of voting at county board meetings. Currently, when there is a role call vote, supervisors vote alphabetically by town, starting with the Argyle Supervisor and ending with the Whitehall Supervisor.

But some supervisors view that system as inequitable.

Granville Supervisor Matt Hicks said he doesn’t believe its fair for Argyle to always have the first vote, especially on resolutions the board may be divided on. He also believes the current system places too much pressure on supervisors from Whitehall and White Creek who always have to vote last.

 “It there’s a close vote, it places a lot of pressure on them and it shouldn’t be that way,” said Hicks, who chairs the board’s Government Operations Committee.

And because the county uses a weighted vote system where the most populous communities have a greater percentage of the vote, by the time the votes gets past Kingsbury, more than 80 percent of the vote has already been determined.

“I think we should switch up the order kind of like your iPod when you hit shuffle,” Hicks said. “I think that would make it more fair.”

One solution would be to reverse the order so that every other vote Whitehall would vote first and Argyle last, Hicks said.

Another idea is for supervisors to vote electronically at the same time. Instead of asking each supervisor aloud what their vote would be officials would instead press a button to cast their vote, with the results appearing on a wall.

The idea would be that each supervisor would cast their vote without knowing how their peers had voted.

The system may also speed up the voting process. Currently, Debbie Prehoda, Washington County Board of Supervisors clerk has to plug each vote into a computer and tabulate the outcome, which adds time and an air of drama to each vote.

Whitehall Supervisor George Armstrong said he was in favor of changing to an electronic voting system if implementation was economically feasible.

“I think it would be good. It doesn’t bother me I’m last to vote. A majority of the time I have my mind made up before we vote but there are some vote counters.

As long as it doesn’t cost a lot of money I’m in favor of anything that makes it easier and faster,” Armstrong said.

Hicks said no one was opposed to the idea, although Easton Supervisor Daniel Shaw said he preferred the current method.

Hicks said the board will explore the cost and feasibility of an electronic voting system and Prehoda was expected to explore alternative methods of voting in the coming months.

 

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Weekender – 01/12/18

Weekender 1_12_18.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 01/12/18

FreePress_1_12_18.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 01/12/18

Lakes_1_12_18.pdf-web.pdf

Northshire Freepress – 01/12/18

Northshire_1_12_18.pdf-web.pdf

Time to move veterans clock?

GRANVILLE-CLOCK_121510_26_7_8_TM-V2

By Krystle S. Morey Hung on Main Street, it has been a topic of discussion and an aesthetic staple in […]

Bascue qualifies for winter olympics

Sports Bascue at Jr. World Championships

By Matthew Saari Whitehall’s Codie Bascue, just 23 years old, has clinched a spot on the U.S. four-man Olympic bobsled […]

Cold war vets to keep tax breaks

Veterans Day (1)

By Krystle S. Morey and Matthew Saari Following a brief public hearing, the Granville Town Board voted to extend tax […]

Village slapped with warning for sewage spill

sewage whitehall

By Matthew Saari For failing to report a sewage spill in October, Whitehall received a notice from the state Department […]

Newly-elected supervisors swing vote on county roles

gavel

By Matthew Saari Two key positions on the Washington County Board of Supervisors were decided last Tuesday by the votes […]

Lakes Region Freepress – 01/05/18

Lakes_1_5_18.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 01/05/18

FreePress_1_5_18.pdf-web.pdf

Northshire Freepress – 01/05/18

Northshire_1_5_18.pdf-web.pdf