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Election officials enjoy new digs

More space and fewer contusions make Island County’s trio of election gurus very happy.

After eons working almost literally on top of each other in a cramped courthouse office, Michele Reagan, Loann Gulick and Anne LaCour are now free to do their jobs with plenty of elbow room.

The elections office relocated after the first of the year, making the short but necessary move across the street to 400 N. Main St.

“There’s no more running into each other. In the past, the election hasn’t been official until we all have bruises,” quipped Reagan, voter registration deputy.

The front office alone rivals the square-footage of the former digs. A second, equally expansive room that is self-contained accommodates equipment purchased with federal grant funds.

“We have our ballot tabulation system in there and there’s plenty of room for storage,” Reagan said. “We’ll be adding another tabulation system soon. And the added security is wonderful. We never had that before.”

But wait, there’s more. A third room in the back will serve as meeting space for the election team to assemble ballots. In the past, the county would bring in part-time employees and the crew would beg, borrow or steal any space they could commandeer in the courthouse.

The climate-controlled meeting room eliminates the need for rented storage space. Water-spotted documents will now be a thing of the past.

“We can now keep everything in-house,” Reagan said. “This is where we’ll be able to secure the documents during the election process. It will be great for records management.”

Gulick has seen three voting systems used during her almost 31 years with the county. The most recent all-mail ballot process is an exciting change, she said, and the new office was needed to streamline that process.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “I think it’s better for the people of Island County. We always gave 110 percent, but now we can be more efficient.”

Some voters still thrill at the feeling of physically turning over their ballot to a human being. Those people will be able to drop off their voting papers at the new Main Street office. The office can be reached at 679-7366.

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