The Tazewell County Board approved a $35 pay increase for election judges who worked the recent primary election.
Tazewell County Board chairman Dave Zimmerman said the raise was requested after County Clerk John Ackerman lost about 20 percent of his poll workers the weekend before the election.
"And so the decision was made to increase their pay from 165 to 200 [dollars]. I believe it was actually a slight savings," Zimmerman said. "But this actually stopped the bleeding of election judges."
Fears over COVID-19 dented election turnout statewide, and also led local election authorities to take additional sanitation measures at polling booths.
The Tazewell County Board also approved a $37,000 contract with Farnsworth Group to review the electrical wiring grid in the courthouse.
Facilities director Kevin Schone said the current wiring set-up is problematic, with light switches that turn on heaters and electrical wiring routed through old circuit breakers instead of junction boxes.
With increased power demands from computers and other technology, Schone said it's in need of an assessment.
He said Farnsworth engineers and electrical contractors will complete an overview of the courthouse and make recommendations for improvement.
The board also extended Zimmerman's emergency powers Wednesday. Most of the board attended the meeting remotely via teleconference.
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