Counties Responsible for Local Election Officials Pay Raises

As reported by MarylandReporter.com, the State Board of Elections unanimously approved 12% raises for county election directors and deputy directors.  While there is some disagreement, counties are largely responsible for funding this salary increase.  From the article:

Only two counties out of 19 – Wicomico and Somerset – that are part of the state personnel system indicated they may reject the pay hikes.

A report issued at the state board meeting indicated Wicomico flatly rejected the pay raise and Somerset thinks “they can approve or deny” pay for this fiscal year.

However, a law passed in 2000 gives the state elections board full authority to set the local salaries, even though the counties have to fund them, state officials said.

“The vast majority have funds available,” Deputy State Election Administrator Nikki Charlson told board members.

In January, board members tabled the vote again until staff could show that all localities could handle the budget increases. Written confirmation was submitted to board members at Thursday’s meeting.

State Elections Administrator, Linda Lamone, indicated that the approval of the pay raises will level the playing field.

Lamone said increasing local salaries would also put local election officials on a level playing field with other county election staff who are not part of the state personnel system. Four counties – Allegany, Calvert, Montgomery and Prince Georges are not in the state’s personnel system.

Since 2010, local election officials have implemented early voting, conformed to new federal military and overseas absentee voting election law and have taken on additional responsibilities associated with a new national voter registration database consortium Maryland joined in 2012.

The article indicates that election officials have not received a pay increase in 14 years.

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