BUCKHANNON – Recently elected Upshur County Clerk Carol Smith was sworn in Wednesday morning for another four years on the job, and she’s already got plans to improve her office’s service to the public.
Smith, who was sworn in by 26th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Jacob Reger, said she hopes to make additions and improvements that will make the lives of residents easier.
For starters, Smith said the county clerk’s office will be accepting credit card payments beginning in January 2019. With the office only taking cash and checks right now, Smith said accepting cards will be helpful to residents.
“We already have a lot people who come in, and we have to send them to get cash or they have to go get checks because we don’t take anything other than cash and checks,” she said. “So, I think it’ll be a definite improvement for the citizens.”
By accepting card payments, Smith noted the county clerk office can manually charge residents who are requesting documents over the phone.
As she continues her role, Smith said she also hopes to make more county recorded documents available on the county’s online portal.
“We’ve already made pretty good strides on some of that, but we still have some improvements that need to be done,” she said.
Aside from making documents available online, Smith has eased the community into the new ExpressVote voting machines, which involves residents making their choices electronically, printing out their ballots following selection and then depositing it into a tabulating machine, called the DS200.
Before the November election, she held several demonstrations throughout the county in hopes that citizens would feel comfortable and confident voting with the machines.
“Everything went really well,” she said about the recent election with the new voting machines. “There was just a little bit of tweaking that I need to do for poll workers as far as instructions and maybe a little more voter outreach. But overall, I think it went really well. We had a few minor incidents, but nothing major.”
Looking back at her past year and as she prepares for the coming year, Smith said she enjoys the work she does as well as assisting county residents.
“I have always enjoyed working with the public and serving them and helping the best I can with the things they need,” she said.
Smith concluded by expressing her gratitude to the county residents.
“I’d like to thank the citizens of Upshur County for putting their confidence in me and elected me as their clerk,” she said. “And I’d like to thank my staff who do a terrific job and I appreciate everything they do for me.”
Smith has been serving as the county clerk since Jan. 5, 2017 at which time she was appointed by the Upshur County Commission to fill the unexpired term of Debbie Thacker Wilfong, who passed away in December 2016.