Today’s voter turnout will pale in comparison to next year when the presidential race tops the ticket, bringing hundreds-of-thousands of more people to the polls. And State Elections Director Gary Bartlett worries that recent budget cuts could make it much harder for things to run smoothly.
The General Assembly cut one million dollars from the State Board of Elections‘ budget.
Bartlett tells N.C. Policy Watch that as a result 14 positions were eliminated, including eight technicians. Those technicians help county elections officials design their ballots and test and troubleshoot voting machines. Problems that arise at the county-level next year will have to be handled by phone from Raleigh, not in person.
Bartlett adds that county officials are also tightening their budgets. He’s heard that there could be one or two people less per precinct than in 2008 to serve North Carolina’s 6.1 million registered voters.
To hear Gary Bartlett talk about the loss of technicians, click below. To hear our full radio interview with the State Elections Director, visit the Radio Interview section of the N.C. Policy Watch website.