Deerfield Supervisors chastised on election protocol

The Deerfield Township supervisors addressed election issues again Monday evening during their August meeting. Warren County Commissioner John Eggleston was on hand, although he was present as a member of the county board of elections.

Supervisor Chairman John Barnes noted that the township had received a letter from the county regarding problems during the primary elections in May.

Eggleston said, “I’m here to reiterate that we regard this stuff as pretty important. On the day of elections, the judge of elections is in charge of this building, and in charge of the election rules. It’s not up to Mr. Jewells (township roadmaster) or any township employee to do anything about that. If any citizen has a complaint, they need to take it to Sharon (Flasher, Deerfield judge of elections), or whoever is serving as judge of elections, and it’s up to them to deal with that.”

“Another issue is that as a part of the rental, we need a phone for our staff, because they need to communicate with the central office if there are any problems, if they need any help at at the end of the day (turning) the results in. And the third issue was the blocking of the exit doors,” he added.

“You’ve clearly got them marked as exit doors, and if something happens and people need to get out and they can’t, because your employee has blocked those doors, you’re going to be facing a liability issue like you wouldn’t believe. If you want to put a sign on them saying ‘open in event of emergency only,’ I don’t think anybody would have a problem with that,” he continued.

Eggleston said, “You pile something in front of (them) so that it can’t be opened, fire breaks out, somebody goes berserk and people are trying to get out and they can’t get out, guess who’s going to be paying the bill it’s going to be (Deerfield) township. We’re not here to raise hell, these are important issues.”

Supervisor Deanne Champagne indicated that they are working on getting a second phone line.

Barnes said there have been changes in supervisors and personnel over the years, and he wasn’t sure of the election rules. “Could we get a copy of the regulations? None of this stuff has been passed down to us.”

Eggleston replied, “Sure.”

Champagne said, “We’ve got to correct this, we’re going to fix it.”

Barnes also noted that a previous request for a grant to pave a handicapped accessible were denied, because an engineer would have to be hired. Eggleston said that Community Block Development Grants carried federal requirements, and he would look into solutions.

In other business, Champagne asked Barnes why some projects have been put off, some for years, and he replied, “Something else comes up, and they have to be shelved.” He said it’s a matter of priorities.