Is The Town of Palm Beach Losing its Town Caucus?
For over a hundred years, the Town Caucus has prevailed as a tradition for electing the Town of Palm Beach leaders. Could this treasured ritual be in danger? Town Clerk, Susan Owens has said no in past Town Council meetings, but big changes are possibly lingering.
The upcoming presidential elections may cause a disruption in the 2016 Town of Palm Beach, Town Council elections. According to the Supervisor of Elections (SOE) of Palm Beach County, the earlier dates for the Town of Palm Beach elections are in jeopardy. The primary presidential election occurs on March 15th. The Palm Beach SOE systems cannot handle the Town of Palm Beach election which takes place a month before.
The technology apparently cannot support two elections in similar times. Another requirement the office has suggested is they may move up filing dates for candidates. If this occurs, it would move the Town Caucus up at least a month, in order to provide the qualified candidates to the Supervisor of Elections. These changes would create almost a four-month period of campaigning for those in the running.
The Town Clerk’s office has been searching for other solutions. One being considered is the Town would borrow equipment from surrounding counties, or the City of Stuart for example, which have offered. The responsibility of the Town Clerk would be to use the equipment and measure all early voting, absentee ballots, and the counting of ballots. A transfer of responsibility to the Town would save some of the costs of the elections.
Many new protocols and guidelines would have to be crafted for the Town Clerk to take over the Town Council Elections process. It could be worth it with the funds saved and the decade-old process being preserved.
Only time will tell what the Town Council will decide, it will be interesting to note how each Council Member will vote on this issue of the Town Caucus, since it directly affects each of their positions.