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New Democratic Elections Commissioner gets committee approval

Luz Torres

After the endorsement of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee and the current county election commissioner, a county legislative committee has given its approval for a Hispanic woman to become the county’s next Democratic election commissioner.

During the Administrative Services meeting, committee members unanimously backed a resolution to appoint Luz Torres to the position of Democratic Election Commissioner. A Dunkirk resident, Torres is currently the deputy election commissioner.

Norman P. Green, who is the current Democratic Election Commissioner, is retiring at the end of the year. He wrote a letter to the committee, endorsing Torres to the position.

“Luz is a team player who will ensure the Board of Elections continues its leadership in the delivery of election services for Chautauqua County voters,” he said in his letter.

Green noted Torres has served as a co-manager of the county printing its own ballots, saving taxpayers nearly $1 million over the last decade. She also headed up the Spanish language compliance for county elections mandate.

“While all struggle, and some of the counties fail, the (county) Board of Elections has successfully recruited all the inspectors needed to operate its poll sites and Luis has been a big part of that effort,” he added.

Green noted she and her Republican counterpart have been able to keep up with the daily receipt of voter registrations.

“The two have kept up on a daily basis with the incoming registrations completed the same day as received,” he said. “Our county leads the New York state in same-day processing of registrations, saving the board from having to bring in temporary help.”

At the committee meeting, Torres appeared in person, talking about her desire for the position.

“I’m looking forward to working, with your approval, at the Board of Elections, bipartisanly, with (Republican Election Commissioner) Brian (Abram) and the rest of the staff, as I do now. I’ve been working there for seven years,” she said. “My concern is to the voters. I want everyone to vote and make sure everyone has an opportunity and to make the office run well.”

The resolution now goes to the full county legislature, which will vote on it Oct. 28.

In a news release last week, Green said if approved, Torres will be the first Hispanic department head in Chautauqua County history.

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