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.

Lakes Classifieds – 01/23/15

Northshire Freepress 01/23/15

Lakes Region Freepress 01/23/15

Weekender 01/23/15

Classifieds 01/21/14

Rivals speak on sports’ success

DSC_0075

By Derek Liebig When the Granville Board of Education decided last week to abandon the school district’s 30-year affiliation with […]

Landlord says he is remedying properties

S Williams Street

By Dan King A Queensbury man, who owns multiple properties in Whitehall, says he has been working on getting all […]

District to reevaluate schedule

DSC_0020

By Dan King Whitehall School District Superintendent Liz Legault said the district will begin working toward a new block schedule […]

Probation officers to carry firearms

Murphy, Jeff 2

By Derek Liebig In a split vote, the Washington County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution last week authorizing probation […]

Two close losses for boys’ hoops

The Whitehall boys’ basketball team lost two games by a combined nine points last week. On Friday evening, the Railroaders […]

No new leads in case of missing man

By Derek Liebig It’s been a year since Jonathan Schaff was last seen walking from a Main Street bar toward […]

Boys’ basketball downed by Hoosick Falls

Granville’s boys’ basketball team played one of its best halves of basketball but was unable to contain an undefeated Hoosick […]