Commission approves equipment purchase

By Kathy Helms-Hughes


   The Carter County Election Commission is preparing for the March 2004 presidential preference primary with an ounce of prevention. In its regular monthly meeting Monday the commission approved the purchase of a new tabulator which should alleviate problems that surfaced during previous elections.
   Tracy Harris, Administrator of Elections, said cartridge readers failed twice during the last two elections.
   "We had to borrow one from Washington County. ... With the new one we'll have a backup if we need it," she said. "When we bought our first one, it was $8,000. Now they've went to $2,500, so we wanted to jump on that."
   The commission is hoping to have the new tabulator before the March 2004 primary.
   Commissioners also reviewed and approved a proposed budget for the new fiscal year. Though actual figures have not been released yet, Harris said the budget proposal is less than last year's $232,995 figure because it only includes the 2004 primary.
   The budget proposal will be presented to the county commission for approval. The full commission is scheduled to begin a series of budget workshops May 5.