The Supervisor of Elections in St Lucie County is a woman named Gertrude Walker. Gertrude is arguably the most popular woman in the county. Even more popular than Barack Obama. How do we know? In the last election Gertrude Walker, a registered Democrat, received 10,000 more votes than Barack Obama, a registered Democrat. Gertrude Walker also received on average 13,000 more votes than any other democrat running for the any of the five countywide seats that election. We’ve yet to meet anyone that can explain it or produce a statistical model where such an outcome is possible. The SOE’s office is in an old mall. The owner of the mall would like the SOE to vacate so he can try and turn the mall into retail stores once again. This is understandable. Gertrude would like the County to build her a building. As the SOE is a constitutional office the County must provide the SOE with money to fund their budget. The 2014 St Lucie County Budget shows that the SOE office budget was $2.3 million, not including the $1.15 million for new software and voting machines. Oh.. if I were only in the business of counting hanging chads. We have elections every two years. She received $2.3 million in 2013 . A year where there was no election. So over the period of two years and one election the SOE office with 17 full time employees has a budget of $4.6 million or $6300 a day, $44,000 a week, $176,400 per month. With only 1 election every two years the SOE employees only really work 6 months out of 24. Is it any wonder that when you walk in to the SOE office there is a big banner on the wall announcing the St Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Office was voted as one of the best places to work in St Lucie County? Where do I sign up? Let’s get back to the building. The County asked for plan proposals for a 20,000 square foot facility. The building should have enough room to store the voting machines for 700 days until they’re needed and room enough to have recounts. Because after spending $1.15 million on new machines and software what else would you expect but recounts. Gertrude Walker and staff are famous for finding at the last second boxes of ballots that had otherwise gone unnoticed and uncounted. The results of the planning came back at 28,000 sq. ft. No one on the County Commission seemed to question the 40% increase in space. The price of construction came in about $400 per sq. ft. No one on the County Commission seemed to question the cost. The average cost of commercial construction is about $100 per square foot. I mentioned the cost of the new building today to a new resident of the county. Her response, “Where are they building it? On Rodeo Drive?” I ask you, if the average citizen off the street can see through the nonsense then why can’t 5 County Commissioners? We suggest you ask them?