She says the Election Board is being kept in the loop.
Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner is taking issue with comments by Election Director Stuart Harvey. He says the County Executive had already made up her mind to move the Liquor Control Board into the Montevue building at 340A Montevue Lane near the Elections Office. Gardner says that’s not the case. “There’s no final decision to move the Liquor Board into the Montevue Building where the Board of Elections is now located,” she said.
But Gardner says she is considering a proposal to move the Liquor Board into the vacant section of the Montevue Building, which would not interfere with Board of Elections’ operations. “The space would be entirely separate. The Liquor Board would have its own entrance separate from the entrance used by the Board of Elections,” she says. “We would certainly make sure everybody has the space they need, and that we would keep the elections secure.”
She notes it would be in an area of the Montevue Building which is currently vacant.
Director Harvey has said if the move takes place, anyone with business before the Liquor Board would have to go through the Elections Office if they needed to use the restrooms. “There are group bathrooms in this building off of a main hallway,” Gardner responded. “But they would never have access into the Board of Elections space. The two spaces would have separate entrances and be fully secure.”
She also takes issue with Director Harvey’s contention that the decision has already been made, without consulting the Board of Elections. “It’s kind of premature for him to be out saying all these things when he has not seen what these modifications might be,” says Gardner.
Gardner says some options will be presented to the Board of Elections which will not require shared bathrooms, and each agency would have its own restroom facilities.
In comments to WFMD News, Director Harvey expressed concerns about election security in connection with this move, particularly when it comes to storing the absentee ballots. . And County Executive Gardner said that is also one of her concerns. “I certainly want our elections to be conducted in a secure manner, and we’re certainly committed to make sure that that happens,” she says.
Gardner is also asking Director Harvey and the Board of Elections not to be overly worried at this time. “My request to the Board of Elections and Stuart Harvey was to wait until we bring a plan back to them, and to consider it with an open mind.”
By Kevin McManus