Commonwealth Journal

Local News

July 24, 2013

County Clerk Ralph Troxtell announces retirement

Candidates ready to run for his office


Somerset —

He credits a lot of good help along the way. “Without naming them, they know who they are. I’m a firm believer that in the political arena, you should surround yourself with intelligent people.”
Troxtell said the clerk’s office is a learning process every day. “It certainly doesn’t embarrass me to say, ‘I don’t know ... let me get somebody to help you.”
The branch office at Somerset Mall that opened in November 2007 is a campaign promise that turned into a success story.
“They told me it wouldn’t work but it has been very successful,” said Troxtell. “People really use it ... it averages 35 to 40 percent of the motor vehicle and boat licensing we do. Of the things I’ve done, I’m probably the most proud of that.”
Troxtell also renovated the main clerk’s office at the courthouse, increasing customer-service stations from eight to 17.
“We did that during the Labor Day weekend in 2008,” he remembers.
As county clerk, Troxtell oversees an office that took in $17.5 million in fees last year. Among its hundreds of duties, the office each year licenses about 80,000 vehicles, including trucks, cars and boats. The clerk’s office has a staff of 24 deputy clerks.
Troxtell, as county clerk, is chair of the Pulaski County Board of Elections. The board is in charge of conducting elections in the county.
“I firmly believe,” he said, “the recent switch to paper ballots, tabulated with optical scanners, has brought many older people, hesitant to use computers, back to the voting booth.” “Everybody is familiar with a pencil and paper,” he said.
  “Some folks said a return to paper ballots would make it easier to “steal votes” during an election,” said Troxtell.
“No so,” Troxtell said. “Each precinct has its own coded ballots ... and paper ballots are only backups to the scanners,” he explained.
“I think we have the best election system in the country,” Troxtell added. “People (Harp Enterprises) who maintain our voting equipment say they love to come to Pulaski County.”

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