By: Diane Benjamin
I recently filed a FOIA request with the Bloomington Election Commission.
In case you missed this story, the COUNTY pays the bills for Bloomington’s Election Commission:
The only thing this office does is elections. There might be three elections this year, there might be two next year. They have 4 full time employees anyway:
Executive Director-$75,000 plus benefits
Assistant Executive Director-$37,000 plus benefits
Election Specialist-$33,945.60 plus benefits
Election Analyst-$40,000 plus benefits
Add close to 50% for benefits!
They are run by a 3 person board, no one is elected:
Denise M Williams
Robert E Felton
John R Walther
Those three are paid $245.36 per month.
The Bloomington Election Commission recently rented space outside of the Government Center because Bloomington pushed them out of their offices. They did not have enough space where they were relocated, so the BEC Board voted in March to lease space. They consider this minutes of that meeting: https://www.becvote.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/January-14-2022-special-meeting-minutes.pdf
“Discussion held” is minutes? 🤣
This is a copy of the lease they signed that COUNTY taxpayers will be paying:
They rented 3,828 square feet at 121 N Main. Proof rent is cheap in downtown Bloomington – $57,420 a year. ($15 a square foot)
Bloomington kicked them out of their space in the Government Center, now the County has additional expense for an election office that should not exist since the County Clerk could do Bloomington elections along with the County.
Every candidate filing for a County wide office files with the County Clerk. Even though County Board districts 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10 span both Bloomington and the County, candidates only file with the County Clerk. BEC does create their own ballot – see story below. They have problems even doing that right.
On election night the County results have to be added to the BEC vote to see who won. It’s a ridiculous way to run elections.
The statement below is on the BEC – 1914: https://www.becvote.org/wordpress/about-us/our-history/
After a problem with election fraud, the citizens of Bloomington decided they wanted honest elections held in Bloomington with no partisan politics involved.
Nice thought if 4 employees didn’t get paid full time salaries for only doing elections. Also, voters have no one to hold accountable since the people that run BEC aren’t elected.
When no one can be held accountable performance is immaterial. I did this story in May of 2021 concerning problems with BEC: https://blnnews.com/2021/05/13/bec-needs-abolished-now/
BEC is too expensive and the citizens of Bloomington aren’t funding their own Election Commission themselves.
BEC was a nice idea who’s time is well past. County taxpayers can’t abolish it themselves even though they get the bills. Only the citizens of Bloomington can dump it. It’s time.