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February 11, 2014
Not slaughter the cow

I would like to clear up some statements made in the letter, “Accept Modern Change.” As the election specialist and a deputy county clerk, I feel the need to address some comments.

The Tooele County Clerk’s Office has had many hours of training to learn the election process. It takes months to prepare for an election, beginning with publishing the Notice of Election to uphold citizens’ voting rights, all while making sure to follow the state election code. After candidates file, the data base must be programmed (Many counties have their IT department do this. In Tooele County the clerk’s office does it); each ballot must be coded to the correct precinct and the candidates on that precinct; all TSX machines (145) tested to make sure each is counting correctly; setting it for election; making sure the computers are programmed and ready for the election — then we train 150 election judges, mail vote by mail ballots and run early voting. The election workers are paid, not much, but they are paid.

We have the most wonderful group of election workers that help on election day, as well as early voting. They are well trained and care very much about the election process and the voters. Other than election day and early voting, everything else is done by the clerk’s office. We enter in the voter registrations, prepare the by mail ballots, and count all of the ballots on election day. We run Tooele County elections, as well as elections for municipalities, special districts and schools in Tooele County.

Besides elections, the clerk’s office issued 418 marriage licenses last year, performed 103 marriage ceremonies, and processed over 900 passports. If citizens had to go to Salt Lake for these services, they would have to schedule an appointment in advance, besides making the trip. We transcribe all of the commission meeting minutes, West Erda Improvement District minutes, planning commission minutes and post the agenda’s and minutes for all of the Tooele County Boards (32). We issued 600 county business licenses this year, as well as handled records management, liability insurance, driver license affidavits, ran the county store, risk management, county mail room, surplus property and requests for proposal with the associate bids and serve as notary publics.

For the commissioners to trim the fat, as is stated, is OK, but let’s not slaughter the cow in the process. The citizens and taxpayers deserve the right to have these services protected.

Holly Shields

Deputy Clerk/Elections Specialist

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