The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

October 14, 2010

Greenbrier County tries e-poll books

LEWISBURG — Greenbrier is one of 10 counties in the state selected for a pilot program to try out electronic poll books, according to Cheryl Yates, who works in the county clerk’s election office.

“Instead of printing out the poll books in paper form, we’ll have miniature laptops — netbooks — with all the information on them,” Yates explained to Greenbrier County Commissioners during their regular meeting Tuesday evening.

Yates said saving the cost of printing poll book pages is only one of the advantages to using e-poll books, noting poll workers will be able to update voting history on the spot, rather than having to forward the information to the county clerk’s staff for action. Also, in the case of a voter who goes to the wrong polling place on election day, a poll worker can confirm the voter’s registration and even print out directions to the correct polling place.

The e-poll books will be in use during early voting for the November election in Greenbrier County, which is now under way. According to Yates, the netbooks will not be used on election day this year due to the need to provide further training to poll workers on the new system.

Early voting concludes on Oct. 30.

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The county commissioners dipped into their coal severance fund several times Tuesday evening.

Among the distributions made, the Guided Equine Healing & Learning Experience was granted $2,500, North Central West Virginia Community Action Agency received $1,000 for its Share the Warmth and garden voucher programs, and the Rupert Public Library will receive $50,000 for renovation expenses after its governing board confirms receipt of a like amount in other funding.

The commission also took $5,000 out of the coal severance account to deposit into the county’s jury fund, upon the request of Sheriff James Childers.

The sheriff explained the jury account operates as a revolving fund from which jurors serving in both circuit court and magistrate court are paid. The state Supreme Court reimburses the county for those jury costs after payment is made.

Childers said costs have risen, making the jury fund’s $10,000 balance insufficient to pay the outstanding amount due jurors. “We have a total of $13,000 due to jurors and only $10,000 in the account,” he said.

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Childers also introduced Travis Webber as the first new deputy hired in Greenbrier County in three years.

“I’m trying to hire three more (deputies) as soon as I can,” he said.

In response to an inquiry from Commissioner Brad Tuckwiller, the sheriff reported that Cpl. Adam Martin, who headed up the department’s child abuse investigation unit, has resigned his position following a lengthy stint on administrative leave.

“It was circumstances out of my control,” Childers said, adding civil service regulations prevented him from publicly delving into the circumstances of Martin’s departure.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com

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