County Clerk to seek federal election funds through the Help America Vote Act

MORGANTOWN — Monongalia County Clerk Carye Blaney requested and received the county commission’s blessing on Wednesday to seek federal election funds through the Help America Vote Act.

WV Secretary of State Mac Warner announced in July that his office would oversee the distribution of $6.5 million to counties for election security.

Blaney explained that she’s seeking about $650,000 to reimburse the county for a portion of the $1,298,550 cost of the ExpressVote system purchased in 2015.

“We were the first county in the nation to buy that equipment, and that’s what they’re using these funds for, to allow other counties to buy them,” Blaney said, noting that the funds would also be used to improve accessibility at county election sites.

Earlier this year, Congress allocated a total of $380 million to be disbursed nationwide through the Help America Vote Act.

During his commission report, Commission President Tom Bloom said the Pantry Plus More program recently held a successful back to school event at North Elementary.

“It was unbelievable because it was open to the entire community,” Bloom said, noting 305 backpacks were handed out along with more than 3,000 pounds of produce and 265 free back-to-school haircuts.

“I can’t say enough about the Principal at North [Natalie Webb] who really came through,” Bloom said.

Also on Wednesday, Commissioner Ed Hawkins said he would like to see a familiar face as Speaker of the WV House of Delegates.

“I would like to propose that Joe Statler be given due consideration for Speaker on the House in light of the resignation of Tim Armstead,” Hawkins said.

Armstead resigned the leadership position to seek a spot on the West Virginia Supreme Court.

“I think Joe has proven he’s a tireless worker. He sees both sides of the aisle,” Hawkins said. “He’s willing, and I think, and I hope I’m not speaking for him, that he would be the perfect choice at this time in this state for Speaker of the House.”

Lastly, the commission approved a handful of requests for use of the courthouse square, including two by Main Street Morgantown.

Main Street will host Friday Football Fun Day from 5 p.m- 8 p.m. on Sept. 7. The following day, Sept. 8, Main Street will hold a Music on the Square concert.

A request by the Pastor’s Prayer Fellowship was also approved for Sept. 2.

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