PEMBROKE — Money to pay for the Lumbee tribal elections in November still has to be found, but the tribe’s Elections Board chairman is confident that will happen.
“They (Lumbee Tribal council members) always fund us enough for elections,” said Carvicous Barfield. “I can’t say at this time how much more money we will need to have, but it has never been a problem in the past. The council has always given us what we have needed.”
Barfield said that her board’s budget request for this year was $32,000. In June, the Lumbee Tribal Council allocated $10,000 to help the board start its work preparing for the elections that include election of a tribal chairman and seven council members.
At the time the money was allocated, there was a debate among council members about whether the Election Board’s request for $32,000 should come from the tribe’s entire balance of unrestricted funds — which at that time was about $23,000 — and any other unrestricted funds that become available. The council decided to allocate the $10,000 and allow the Elections Board, as it has done in the past, to request additional money as needed.
Money the tribe receives annually from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cannot be used for elections.
Barfield said that in addition to the $10,000 allocation from the council, $5,500 was raised from filing fees paid by the 19 candidates. She said she will probably have to ask the council in mid-October for more money to reach the $32,000 target.
Tribal Speaker Pearlean Revels said Friday the money will be allocated as needed, and that this year’s increase in candidate filing fees from $300 to $500 for chairman and from $150 to $250 for council seats will provide additional revenue.
Barfield said that the Elections Board seeks to keep just enough money in its account to fund the November elections and start the next year’s election process.
‘We never have thousands of dollars in our account,” she said. “We try to get by for one election and the start of the next year’s election.”
Barfield said that the the biggest election expense is for printing, but money is also needed to pay poll workers and clerks.
According to Barfield, the five members of the Elections Board also receive a small reimbursement for travel related to Elections Board business.
Reach staff writer Bob Shiles at 910-272-6117 or email@example.com.