Election inspectors receive bonus
CLINTON TOWNSHIP – Clinton Township Clerk Kim Meltzer applied for and received more than $62,000 of grant money to offset the cost of conducting 2020 elections in Clinton Township.
The grant, awarded by the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), helps local clerks defray election costs. Typical expenses covered are for personal protective equipment, poll worker recruitment, hazard pay, training expenses, drive through, mail-in and absentee voting equipment supplies, ballot drop boxes, and non-English voting materials. Also covered are polling place rental and cleaning fees, election administration equipment, non-partisan voter education, and satellite election office costs.
However, Meltzer had a different idea on where to apply the grant dollars.
“Months earlier, during preparations for a busy 2020 election year, I budgeted for the items CTCL was offering or had already purchased them with CARES ACT money,” said Meltzer. “I considered additional voting machines, but tangibles such as these become outdated and obsolete, and I felt would not maximize voting to serve Clinton Township residents,” she said.
Instead, Meltzer thought it better to invest in human resources, namely election inspectors, and after receiving approval from CTCL, used the grant to award a $105 cash bonus to each inspector.
“I felt the election inspectors who worked during a pandemic deserved to be recipients of the grant,” she said.
Inspectors working both the August and November elections received an additional $210 in grant money in their checks.
“None of the election inspectors knew this was forthcoming, and it was exciting for me to see their faces when they learned of the additional money in their checks,” said Meltzer. “So many of them expressed appreciation, especially because of the holiday season.”
Meltzer went on to say that prioritizing each inspector shows they are valued and will encourage them to consider working in future elections. She added that the most challenging part of executing elections is securing experienced inspectors.
On January 30, Clerk Kim Meltzer organized a rally at the Clinton Township Civic Center for election inspectors to show their appreciation to the Center for Tech and Civic Life.
From left, Maria Lucido, Office Clerk II; Kim Meltzer, Township Clerk.