Monroe County Democrats at odds over new Board of Elections commissioner selection process

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Democratic Executive Committee is changing the way their Board of Elections Commissioner is selected and not all Democrats agree with the new process.

The commissioner is a position that was previously chosen through a party committee member vote, at a convention, but now Democrats in Monroe County can submit applications for the position.

A screening committee will review those applications, and that committee will make a recommendation to the Democratic Executive Committee, which will ultimately choose the Commissioner. Some say this new approach follows the Committee’s by-laws, others disagree.

In a statement, MCDC Chair Brittaney Wells said, “With the upcoming Presidential Primary, our first with early voting, we need a new Commissioner in place to make sure that our polling sites are accessible as possible and that every vote is counted.”

Committee member Michael Slade says he doesn’t understand the rush.

“I never quite understood why it needed to be done in a hurry,” he said.

Monroe County Legislature Minority Leader Vince Felder agreed that this selection is timely and is an unprecedented situation.

“It’s legal,” said Felder. “If you look at the state law, state law says that the county committee decides.”

Slade said if it was done by convention before, it needs to be done that way again. “It’s not proper,” said Slade. “It needs to be done as per the rules of the election law, and this selection committee really should not- whoever they decide on, a whole set of selections they decide on, that’s not the proper way.”

The Executive Committee is made up of 50 Democrats throughout the County. The screening committee includes nine of those Democrats.

Democrats interested in the Board of Elections Commissioner position can apply online until this Friday. The Committee hopes to have a new Commissioner by March 10.

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