Clay County Officials To Lawmakers: Protect Voters' Info, Help Us Collect Court Fees

Sep 30, 2015

Clay county lawmakers listen to the concerns of county officials and residents during a hearing Tuesday night.
Credit Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Clay County officials outlined their legislative priorities in a two-hour meeting of the area’s legislative delegation Tuesday.

Clay County Supervisor of Elections Chris Chambliss aired his concerns regarding public records law.

Chambliss said personally identifying voter-registration information can be requested by anyone.

“We’ve had inmates who are serving life sentences that are making public records requests for individuals’ personal information, including their name, their full address and their full date of birth,” Chambliss said.

He said he doesn’t know why that information was sought but believes it’s potentially dangerous.

He also said other county supervisors are agree.

Clay County Clerk of Court Tara Green told lawmakers her office is in dire financial straits. She said  her office just isn't collecting enough fees from county residents.

“Our indigency filings are through the roof, particularly in our family cases, which carry a lot of fees,” Green said. “So, those filing fees are not being seen through the office.”

Green says she’s seen a more than 600 percent increase in the number of people claiming indigency, or the inability to pay, over the last few years.

She also says, although a slight uptick was to be expected while the economy still recovers, she thinks it’s too easy to get out of paying family-court fees.

No legislation has been filed, but state lawmakers representing Clay County say they’ll take those concerns to their colleagues in Tallahassee.