Bill to restructure elections board is pulled

February 16, 2007|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Reporter

A bill that would have restructured Howard County's elections board by expanding the number of members from three full members and two substitutes to five full members was withdrawn by Del. Frank S. Turner, the sponsor.

Del. Shane E. Pendergrass, the House delegation chairwoman, said the members discussed the idea at a meeting Wednesday morning. Turner withdrew the bill when it became clear that it would not be approved by the county's eight delegates and three senators.

Guy Harriman, the elections board chairman, testified against the bill at a hearing last week, arguing that the board functions well as it is.

One full Republican member has not been attending board meetings, and the Republican substitute resigned, leaving the board with two full-time members -- one Democrat and one Republican. Democrats worried that any disagreement would stymie the board and pushed for a change. But Harriman said the problem would be solved if vacancies could be filled more quickly.

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