Independence County Election Commission discusses the possible fate of the upcoming special election

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Many were in attendance Thursday along with the election commission and its advisers.

Three members of the Batesville School Administration including Superintendent Dr. Michael Hester, Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Glen Willis, County Clerk Tracy Nast Mitchell, County Judge Robert Griffin, representatives of a group that opposes the school millage and supports moving the millage election date to Nov. 3, members of the media, and members of the general public. 

Each individual with a reason to be present and a role to play. Information and suggestions were shared.

Batesville School representatives presented to the Commission how the Center for Disease Control, the Arkansas Department of Health, and the Arkansas State Election Commission acknowledged how an election could move forward in a safe manner. 

Taking into account the consideration of safety for voters, poll officials, and the operational hardships involved in the process.

Superintendent Dr. Hester said he and some of his staff were there to listen to others and take that information back to the school board.

According to state statute, only the school board could change the date of the election. 

However, it was noted today that the Director of the State Education Department could act to move the date once he is petitioned to do so. 

Independence County Judge Griffin said today that because of the pandemic and public safety concerns that there are state statutes he could act under to “put the election off.” 

The Election Commission gave Dr. Hester until Friday afternoon, March 27, 2020, to notify the commission of what the Batesville School Board decides.

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