Meet Nichole Shortell and Sarah Bormann, the new Oneida County Board of Elections commissioners.
Shortell, the Republican commissioner, says she brings 25 years of legal experience. Bormann, the Democratic commissioner, says she brings a political background and team management skills.
"I feel very fortunate to come into an office to work and having such a great counterpart and a fantastic team, as well, everyone here," Shortell said.
"Any sort of an operation where there's a lot of important work to do, in order for it to happen, the office staff has to work as a team, and it's really been great. Nichole and I do get along well. Both our teams do get along well," Bormann said.
Getting to this point wasn't as smooth.
Earlier this year, a judge in a court battle surrounding last year's 22nd Congressional District race found several errors with the Oneida County Board of Elections' operations. Some voters were turned away from polling places, and numerous registrations were not processed, even though they were submitted on time.
The new commissioners are changing things, starting with more principal clerks.
"The main responsibilities of our main principal clerks is the list maintenance of all the voters in the county, so inputting our new registered voters, updating all of their various changes, name changes, address changes," Bormann said.
The commissioners say registrations are updated, and they're also working on acquiring grants.
"We're working on a grant for e-poll books, as well as a cybersecurity grant, and we have a few more down the road, too," said Shortell.
They want Oneida County voters to have more confidence in the Board of Elections (BOE). They're also recruiting for paid poll worker positions.
The Oneida County BOE also reached a proposed agreement with the U.S. Justice Department. It's meant to ensure that all eligible registrations are processed and poll workers are trained on provisional balloting requirements.
The board will also provide periodic compliance reports.
Earlier this year a court battle exposed several issues w/the Oneida County BOE, leading to both commissioners stepping down. Fast forward several months, the new commissioners say they’re making several changes as they work to restore voter confidence. Details on @SPECNews1CNY— Melissa Krull (@MKrullTV) July 29, 2021