JEFFERSON — The Marion County Commissioners Court approved a pay increase for election judges, alternate judges and poll workers on Monday.

County Clerk Vickie Smith advised that she was contacted by both local party chairs regarding the pay raises for the election season. She said the State Legislature made allowances for the increases during this past legislative session.

“In this last legislative session they upped the pay rates for the (political) parties up to $12.” Smith said, “So we’re paying them $9.50 across the board right now.

“So their recommendation is that we pay the judges $12 an hour and the alternate judges and poll workers $11.”

She said county treasurer, Shanna Solomon, had already configured extra money in the upcoming fiscal year budget to accommodate the raises.

Smith said while the local political parties pay the salaries of all for the Primary and Run-off elections, the county is responsible for paying early voting workers.

“We pay for those at every election,” she said. “So, the amendment election and the general election will be the only time we will pay the poll workers and the alternate judges and the election judges at the polls. But during early voting, we pay for those for all elections that we have.”

The vote to increase the pay was unanimously approved with Pct. 1 Commissioner J.R. Ashley making the motion, and Pct. 2 Commissioner Joe McKnight seconding it.

Smith additionally expressed the need to recruit more poll workers, as workers are becoming harder to find.

“It’s just become very difficult to find poll workers and most of our poll workers are elderly.” she said, “After the holidays are over I am going to go talk to the superintendent and principal at the high school to see if we can get some high school students involved. That way, when they graduate they can maybe carry on that when they go to college or move on somewhere else.”

In other business, the court approved a special budget amendment for the sheriff’s department for revenue received after the start of the fiscal year. Solomon, the county auditor, noted that Marion County Sheriff David McKnight requested that proceeds from the sale of two vehicles be put back into his department’s budget to offset the purchase of another vehicle.

“We got those sold through Auctioneer Express, and the amount of those vehicles was $70,247.50,” Solomon said.

The court also approved a quote from Datum Storage Solutions for shelving for the new records building. The quote was through a TIPS cooperative contract.

“This is the shelving units for the new building for the county clerk and district clerk,” Solomon said.

Smith noted that the shelving is heavy duty and allows for extra storage, if needed.

“It’s on tracks and they can collapse down, so we can get more shelving for the space that we have.” she said, “Also, they’ve added extra shelving in there so we can have room to grow; and it will hold files, it will hold boxes and it will hold books. So this will accommodate all of that.”