By Keith Gushard
The head of Crawford County Voter Services is confident two of four precincts around the county that need to fill judge of elections and inspectors of elections positions on Nov. 5 will get candidates to fill them by the time voters go to the polls that day.
The Crawford County Election Board lacks local election boards for Titusville Third Ward, Cussewago Township, Rockdale Township and West Mead Township 2 precincts in 2014 because there are no candidates on the Nov. 5 ballot for judge of elections or inspector of elections in those four precincts.
Melanie Mushrush, the county’s director of elections, told the county election board at its reconvened meeting Tuesday that there were numerous contacts from residents of Rockdale Township and West Mead Township 2 precincts expressing interest in running as write-ins in those areas. She said she wasn’t sure what may happen within Cussewago Township and Titusville Third Ward.
The most immediate concern of the county election board, however, has been addressed. An election board is in place for Titusville Third Ward for the Nov. 5 election, Mushrush said. However, members of the recently-formed Titusville Third Ward board do not plan to serve past the Nov. 5 election.
There had been no seated election board — a judge of elections and inspectors of election for either major party — for Titusville Third Ward as of last week as its members had left the board without completing their current terms that expires at the end of 2013.
Mushrush said she had sent letters to every registered voter within the Titusville Third Ward, asking them to serve and to contact Mushrush at the Voter Services Office if interested. Local election board members must be registered voters.
Mushrush said she received only one phone call from an interested person within the precinct but has not received a followup call from the person.
“Hopefully, there will be residents of the Third Ward who will write in their names,” Mushrush said.
Letters also had been sent to registered voters within the Cussewago, Rockdale and West Mead 2 precincts to see if anyone in those districts is interested in doing a write-in campaign.
Voters in all 67 voting precincts in Crawford County are to elect a judge of elections as well as two inspectors of elections — one Democrat and one Republican — on Nov. 5. The judge of elections and inspector of elections offices are four-year terms that will commence in 2014.
Judge of elections and inspectors of elections are paid on a sliding scale based on the number of votes cast within a precinct. Judge of elections is paid a minimum of $81 for 150 votes or less while both majority and minority inspectors are paid a minimum of $75 for 150 votes or less. Pay increases $5 for each position for 151 to 300 votes; another $5 for 301 to 500 votes; another $5 for 501 to 750; and another $5 for 751 or more votes.
The election board recessed the meeting to next Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Crawford County Courthouse.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at email@example.com.
Those interested in being an election official are asked to contact Melanie Mushrush, Crawford County’s director of elections, at 333-7308.
Applications for absentee ballots for the Nov. 5 election must be received at the Crawford County Voter Services Office, 903 Diamond Park, Meadville, by Oct. 29 at 4:30 p.m. All absentee ballots must be at the Crawford County Voter Services Office by 4:30 p.m. Nov. 1.