Looking north with the election operations building on the left and the new parking garage in the background.
The hand of Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne, after she voted. She’s running unopposed for re-election.
The trademark blue former NAPA building at 3rd and Walnut streets, just south of the new parking garage and west of the downtown transit center, is the new home to Monroe County’s voting operations.
Tuesday was the first day of in-person early voting for the May 3 primary elections.
At 8 o’clock sharp, Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne emerged from the front door to perform the ritual that marked the start of the voting day.
Browne raised her voice to the overcast sky: “Hear ye, hear ye, the polls are now open!”
In the first half hour of voting, only a handful of voters cast a ballot. By then, light rain was falling on the few candidates and volunteers who had come to canvas the early voters.
By around 4 p.m., the count of early voters had reached just 58. For the general election in 2020, Monroe County averaged more than 1,000 early in-person voters a day. It’s not surprising that interest in the primary elections, between presidential election years, is comparatively lower.
Deputy clerk Tressia Martin on Zooom at the March 16, 2022 board of commissioners meeting.
Monroe County commissioners, from left: Lee Jones, Julie Thomas, and Penny Githens.
County attorney Lee Baker.
Fleet and facilities manager Greg Crohn.
Poll workers for Monroe County’s May 3 primary elections won’t be trained at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Instead they’ll learn the ins and outs of working the polls at the county government center in the Showers building on Morton Street, or the new election operations center at 3rd and Walnut streets. That’s the former NAPA building.
When county commissioners came to the $4,880 item on their Wednesday agenda, an early indication that they would not be approving it came from Penny Githens. “I don’t understand why we’re asking county taxpayers to pay close to $5,000 when we have space, I thought, in the Showers building for the training,” Githens said.
Deliberations on the item were continued to a work session following the regular meeting. A $1,000 down payment that was paid to Hilton last fall was eventually determined to be refundable, which cleared the way to a 0–3 vote by commissioners on the item.