Soul singer James Brown was once known as the hardest working man in show business, and, right now, the hardest working man in Guilford County is probably Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt.
Ordinarily, that job is a pretty good one – good pay, good benefits, a fun and nice staff to work with. However, this election season the Guilford County Board of Elections office is facing an astonishing array of challenges as it prepares for one of the biggest elections in American history.
To name a few, this year the state forced Guilford County to use an entirely new paper ballot-based system with new voting machines. The laws pertaining to the election have been in flux for years and the COVID-19 pandemic has meant new polling places, training new staff, and handling a massive number of mail-in ballots.
Oh, and this is expected to be one of the most contested elections of all time and perhaps the county’s elections staff will be at the office on New Year’s Eve still working through the mess.
Already, anyone who looks into the elections office in the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro well into the evening will find the lights on and see elections staff working away.
Collicutt said he does have some extra staff and budget money to work with.
“I was provided with the part-time salaries and overtime that I requested,” Collicutt said.
Fortunately for the elections’ office, some of the relief funds from the federal government can be put toward the 2020 election. That’s helping the office deal with the huge amount of mailed ballots – but it means paying a lot of overtime.
Collicutt said, “Because of this volume, due to COVID concerns, some overages will be reimbursable by some CARES funds that elections offices in the state received. It’s a mix – lots of part time, but overtime for the full time.”
In the meantime, the elections director is taking it all in stride.
“Just normal election season,” Collicutt said.