In 2004, the IMO adopted a new “Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments”. The purpose of this new convention was to control the harmful effects of unwanted or invasive species being transported in ships’ ballast water.After a review of the different Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS), Oldendorff Carriers has decided to partner with ERMA FIRST. Oldendorff Carriers made a review of the approved BWTS including visiting some manufacturing facilities, the review included; regulation compliance, capital cost, energy requirements, anticipated operating costs, space requirements, simplicity to manage and availability.ERMA FIRST is headquartered in Greece; they impressed Oldendorff Carriers with their professional method of addressing our questions and concerns. The ERMA FIRST BWTS FIT is USCG type approved and IMO approved for nearly all water types. Their BWTS is simple, flexible, and suitable for small and large ballast-pump capacities. It also has a small footprint and a low power consumption.During ballasting, the water goes through the filter, where organisms and sediment (with a diameter larger than 40 microns) are separated and further discharged overboard. The filtered water enters the Electrolytic Cell. Naturally, from the chlorides of the water, free chlorine is produced through the electrolysis process at a very low concentration (around 4-6 mg/L). The treated water then, enters the ballast tanks. During de-ballasting, the system will only monitor the residual oxidants and will further intervene if necessary. The main stages of the system (filtration and disinfection) are bypassed.Niklas Richter, Project Manager of the Oldendorff Carriers Green Ships Department commented, “We have had an internal task force working on BWTS for two years, during this time we have thoroughly investigated many systems, particularly those with US Coast Guard approval. We were very impressed with the professionalism of ERMA FIRST and are very pleased to partner with them on the BWTS project. Although the fitting of BWTS is not yet compulsory, we plan to fit a trial ERMA FIRST system in July 2018 and start fitting many of our owned vessels in 2019 to have time to train and implement the system before vessels are required to comply with the regulations.”Konstantinos Stampedakis, ERMA FIRST Managing Director commented, ‘Working with such a professional and high quality shipping company such as Oldendorff Carriers, promoted the quality of our equipment and services. We have undertaken a great challenge which we will fulfill at the most professional and efficient way.Sea News, May 31 Author: Priyanka Ann Saini
(Image Courtesy: IMO) The IMO Council is meeting for its 122nd session at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom (15-19 July). The statement on heightened maritime security measures for ships operating in the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman is included in its summary of decisions. After debate, the IMO Council decided to condemn the attacks and expressed its concern over the grave danger to life and the serious risks to navigational safety and the environment to which such incidents may give rise. The Council also emphasised the need for flag States and shipowners and operators to review the maritime security plans for their ships and implement necessary measures to address the heighted security risk to ships operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman. Addressing the IMO Council, Secretary-General Kitack Lim also emphasised his personal condemnation of the attacks, asserting that “threats to ships and their crews, peaceably going about their business in any part of the world, are intolerable.” On 12 May 2019, Saudi Arabian flagged vessels Amjad and Al Marzoqah, the Norwegian flagged vessel Andrea Victory and the Emirati flagged vessel A.Michel, were attacked off the coast near Fujairah and suffered sabotage damage, and on 13 June 2019, the Marshall Islands flag Front Altair and Panama flag Kokuka Courageous were attacked, suffering hull damage and fire, while located in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz. IMO’s mandatory maritime security measures, contained in the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, require ship owners and operators to implement appropriate measures to address security risks corresponding to a variety of operational factors, such as the ship’s location and destination. The Council is the Executive Organ of IMO, consisting of 40 Member States elected by the IMO Assembly. The IMO Council decision recognizes the strategic importance of the navigational routes in and near the Strait of Hormuz, and reminds all flag States, ship owners and operators of the need to implement appropriate security measures for their ships at all times, in the light of the recent attacks in and near the Strait of Hormuz. Author: Baibhav Mishra The Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has condemned recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman at its meeting in London held from 15-19 July. Sea News, July 19 Lim added “I strongly urge all Member States to redouble their efforts and to work together to find a long lasting solution to ensure the safety and security of international shipping around the globe and the protection of the marine environment. We owe it to our industry, which is indispensable to the world, and to our seafarers.”
This has been the position of the previous Government and we understand it remains the preference of the current administration. UK ports have been preparing for a range of scenarios, although it is clear that preparation for a no-deal is about mitigating, not avoiding disruption. Sea News, August 21 Author: Baibhav Mishra Ports are of course though only one part, albeit an important component, of the logistics chain. We rely on others – freight forwarders, hauliers, agents, Government agencies – to also be ready for what is an unprecedented level of change potentially coming in with little or no notice. Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, said: British ports have been working closely with the UK Government for the last three years on a range of Brexit scenarios. The industry is as ready as it can be for a ‘no deal’ although it is clear that this is about mitigating disruption at certain ports, not avoiding it. The BPA has consistently said that a no-deal scenario will cause disruption at some ports and that the best Brexit scenario is a comprehensive deal that supports frictionless trade. British Ports Association (BPA) responds to reports in UK media on Government assessment of no-deal Brexit. A ‘no deal’ would certainly appear to be more of a possibility now and it is prudent to plan for this potential outcome. However we remain firmly of the view that a deal that supports frictionless, free-flowing frontiers is the best outcome and as far as we are aware this is still the Government’s aim. We still hope that the UK and EU can come to a sensible arrangement ahead of the deadline. It is critical that in any scenario, the Government prioritises the flow of port traffic so that it remains fluid and does not introduce any additional checks at the frontier. If necessary, any new checks at Ro-Ro ports should be facilitated inland Reviewing the leaked Government papers there remain questions for operators using both accompanied and unaccompanied Roll-on Roll-off routes but the Government has designed a number of mitigating measures which will help importers temporarily, in the short term. Operators will need time to plan for any longer term solution so some kind of transitional period will be need for any type of Brexit that deviates from present arrangements. The Government are alive to the issues and we met several Cabinet Ministers recently with other freight industry representatives to express these concerns.
The solution to which Krishnan refers is TAS1000, a maritime security solution designed specifically to meet maritime industry demand for remotely-installed protection with a dashboard that provides a complete, fleet-wide single-pane view of each system’s cyber events, logs, alerts, attack vectors, and locations. Ram Krishnan, recently appointed as CTO, said: “We are working with a number of parties to protect older systems, but there is still a vast amount of 20th Century equipment in use that is poorly equipped to deal with a 21st Century cyber attack. We have a solution capable of protecting and monitoring all legacy systems operating in heterogeneous environments, irrespective of type, vendor or operating system.” Trevor Keith, Vice President Product Management, added: “The development of TAS1000 is reflective of the success of the Boston office and the strong cooperation between our technology leaders in Israel and the US. We are now looking to emulate this success with new solutions and new facilities in Houston, Singapore and the Netherlands.” “A physical presence here not only strengthens Naval Dome’s global position, but it also allows us to combine the ground-breaking technical innovation from Israel with that developed here in the United States.” Naval Dome President and CEO Itai Sela said: “Since the company was established in 2016, we have gained considerable traction across the maritime and port industries, resulting in a need to expand into new geographical areas to support and service our customers’ requirements. We have also made a number of senior executive appointments in what marks the beginning of the next stage of our growth strategy.” “We believe it is vitally important to the ongoing development of maritime cyber security, globally, that we have a presence in North America,” said Rizika. “We see substantial growth for all our cyber security products across the region. Author: Baibhav Mishra Image used for representational purposes only (Image Courtesy: Naval Dome) The Boston facility, led by Naval Dome’s newly appointed Head of North America Operations, Robert Rizika, will be manned 24/7 to provide global, single-point support to those rig, ship and port operators with assets protected by Naval Dome. The hub will also house an R&D centre to monitor emergent cyber threats and to develop core software and new solutions. “We call it the ‘Legacy Dilemma’. A drilling rig or fleet of ships may have several different systems installed, supplied by several different manufacturers, and all running different operating systems. The OEM of course wants to upgrade them to a new system, but the operator is reluctant to make that level of fleet-wide investment, especially in the current economic climate.” Sea News, September 11 “The number of maritime systems operating on Windows XP, Windows 7, and older versions of Linux all of which were designed at a time when cyber security was not an issue, is a significant cyber challenge for OEMs and operators alike,” he said. As part of wider expansion plans, maritime cyber security systems pioneer Naval Dome has established a significant presence in the Americas with the opening of a new product development and customer service centre in Boston, Massachusetts. The opening of the 12,000ft2 facility in Cambridge, a Boston suburb, coincides with the appointment of an expanded leadership team selected to drive forward the company’s ambitious growth strategy. “We believe we are the only company to have this capability,” said Krishnan. While there has been an increase in the number of operators globally investing in Naval Dome cyber security systems, Rizika said that given the sheer volume of legacy equipment still in operation, there is a large cyber security hole which asset owners need to address as quickly as possible. Naval Dome’s expanded leadership team comprises Itai Sela, Naval Dome President and CEO; Ram Krishnan, CTO; Ido Ben Moshe, Vice President Business Development; Paola Rossi, Vice President Marketing & Sales; Robert Rizika, Head of North American Operations; and Trevor Keith, Vice President, Product Management.
Click here or on the image above to view it at full size in a new window. Dave NatzkeEditorProgressive DairymanEmail Dave Natzkedave@progressivepublish.com The 116th Congress features 100 new members of the House: Democrats now have a 235-197 majority, with three vacancies as of February 2019. In the Senate, Republicans expanded their majority to 53-47.advertisementadvertisementProgressive Dairyman provides the names of House and Senate committees and subcommittees and their members with oversight on issues directly impacting dairy in the 116th Congress.1. AgricultureSenate: U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), will again chair the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Roberts, 82, has worked on eight farm bills. He’s the only lawmaker to chair both the House and Senate Ag Committees. Roberts won’t seek re-election in 2020. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) remains the top Democrat on the committee and continues serving as the ranking member.There are 11 Republicans on his committee, but the Democratic roster shrunk by one seat and is down to nine. Both the Republicans and the Democrats have added one new senator to the Agriculture Committee’s ranks: Sen. Mike Braun (R-Indiana) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois).Much of the work in 2019 will focus on working with the USDA to implement the 2018 Farm Bill, including the Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC). The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to play a key role in the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.House: With the new Democratic majority, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) is chair of the House Agriculture Committee, replacing Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who will now serve as the ranking member.advertisementThere are 26 Democrats on the committee, including about a dozen newcomers; there are only three new Republican members.California has the most representation on the committee with six members; five states have three members on the committee: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota and New York. Rep. Jim Costa (D-California) chairs the subcommittee on livestock and foreign agriculture.2. AppropriationsSenate: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) is chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Ranking member and vice-chair is Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).The Senate Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee has oversight on the USDA (except Forest Service), the Farm Credit Administration, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Food and Drug Administration. There are seven Republicans and six Democrats on that subcommittee. Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) is chair; Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) is ranking member.House: The House Committee on Appropriations is led by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-New York), chair; ranking member is Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas).The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies subcommittee oversees most USDA programs. There are seven Democrats and four Republicans on that subcommittee. Leadership is Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Georgia), chair; and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska), ranking member.advertisement3. JudiciarySenate: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ranking member is Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California).Probably of most importance to dairy is the Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration, which oversees immigration, citizenship and refugee laws. There are nine Republicans, led by subcommittee chair Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), and eight Democrats, led by ranking member Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).House: The House Judiciary Committee is led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York), chairman; and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia), ranking member.The Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship has jurisdiction over immigration and naturalization, border security, admission of refugees, treaties, conventions and international agreements. The nine Democrats on that subcommittee are led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California), chair; and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), vice-chair. The six Republicans are led by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado), ranking member.4. TradeCommittees with primary oversight on trade include the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.Senate: The Senate Finance Committee includes 15 Republicans, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair; and Sen. Ron Wyden D-Oregon), ranking member.Oversight on trade issues rests with the Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness. It has 11 Republicans and nine Democrats. Chair of the subcommittee is Sen. John Coryn (R-Texas); ranking member is Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pennsylvania).House: The House Ways and Means Committee includes 25 Democrats, led by Rep. Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts), chair; and 17 Republicans, led by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), ranking member.The Subcommittee on Trade is responsible for matters related to international trade, including customs, tariffs, the negotiation and implementation of reciprocal trade agreements, and international trade rules and organizations. It has 11 Democrats and seven Republicans. Chair of that subcommittee is Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon); ranking member is Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Florida).5. Congressional Dairy Farmer CaucusSix co-chairs have been named to head the Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus, a bipartisan group dedicated to educating other members of Congress and building political consensus on the importance of the dairy industry to the nation’s economy. While it’s called the “Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus,” it is made up of only House members. As of Progressive Dairyman’s deadline, the full list of Congressional Dairy Farmer Caucus members was not available. * Chairs and ranking members of House and Senate committees are ex-officio members of all subcommittees. Even though the 2018 Farm Bill provided dairy safety net program changes for the next five years, Congress will debate issues directly impacting dairy farmers. Immigration, trade and environmental policies are chief among those, and grassroots efforts are already underway to reform other dairy policies. The New Green Deal looms.
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) has released updated results from a raw milk survey.NASDA conducted a raw milk survey, in cooperation with the National Association of Dairy Regulatory Officials (NADRO), to gather current information about the regulation and sale of raw milk in the United States. Raw milk is defined as milk that has not been pasteurized.advertisementadvertisement The Center for Disease Control (CDC) strongly discourages consumption of raw milk as pathogens from raw milk can result in kidney failure, paralysis and fatality, in some cases.This survey is NASDA’s third collection of data since 2004. In 2008, 50 states participated in the survey and 30 states allowed raw milk sales. NASDA’s new data reflects no change in the number of states permitting unpasteurized milk sales both on the farm and in retail markets.The 2011 data shows the same 30 states allowing raw milk sales. Likewise, the same 20 states still prohibit the sale of raw milk to consumers. Five states have adopted stricter quality standards to regulate the sale of raw milk since the 2008 survey.Of the 30 states where raw milk sales are allowed in some form, 13 states restrict legal sales to occur only on the farm where the milk is produced.The survey shows that 12 other states allow the sale of raw milk at retail stores separate from the farm. The remaining five states restrict the availability of raw milk to special markets or have compound regulations.advertisementNASDA represents the commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the state departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four territories. The information for this survey was received from the NADRO members in each state.Summary of results:Of the 50 respondents, 30 states authorize the legal sale of raw milk, in some specified manner, for direct human consumption. The remaining 20 states prohibit the sale of raw milk to consumers. The following data represents the 30 states that allow raw milk sales in some form. Sales of raw milk restricted to the farm:Thirteen states restrict legal sales to occur only on the farm where the milk is produced (AR, IL, KS, KY, MA, MN, MS, NE, NY, OK, RI, TX, WI)• Four of these states (MN, WI, OK, IL) further restrict sales to only incidental occurrences (i.e., occasional; not as regular course of business; no advertising)• Kansas allows sales directly to the consumer on the farm with minimal on-farm advertising.• Four states (AR, KY, MS, RI) restrict sales to goat milk only, with two states (KY, RI) also requiring a prescription from a physicianadvertisement• Five states have a coliform standard for milk sold only on-farm (ID, MA, NY, OR, TX)Sales of raw milk at retail stores separate from farm:Twelve states allow the sale of raw milk at retail stores separate from the farm (AZ, CA, CT, ID, ME, NH, NM, NV, PA, SC, UT, WA)• One of the 12 (UT), requires the store to be owned by the producer, even though it can be located off of the farm.• Another state (SC) allows the sale of raw milk both on and off the farm and at farmers’ markets if a permit is obtained. Further, farmers must provide retail stores with a warning plaque to be displayed in front of the raw milk.Of these 12 states, all 12 have a total coliform standard.• Nine states have a coliform standard of < 10/mL (AZ, CA, ME, NH, NV, PA, SC, UT, WA)• One state has a coliform standard of < 25/mL (ID)• Two states have a coliform standard of < 50/mL (CT, NM)Sales of raw milk at farmers’ markets and states with compound regulations:Five states have unique regulations that do not fit in either of the categories above. (CO, MO, OH, SD, VT)• One state (OR) allows on-farm sales of raw cow’s milk only from farms with no more than two producing cows, nine producing sheep and/or 9 producing goats; Only goat milk is allowed at retail off farm.• Of the 5 states, one state (CO) prohibits all sales of raw milk; however, raw milk may be legally obtained through “share” operations.• Another state (VT), authorize share operations if share owners claim on their taxes the percentage of the farm that they own. Limited amounts of raw milk may be sold at farms.• Three states (SD, MO, VT) allow farmers to deliver to farmers’ market but not to stores.• Of these five states, 4 have minimum standard requirements (MO, OR, SD, VT)• One state has a coliform standard of < 10/mL (VT, OR)• One state has a coliform standard of < 100/mL (MO)• One state requires the same standards for raw milk as pasteurized milk (SD)The sale of raw milk is prohibited in 20 States: (AL, AK, DE, FL, GA, HI, IN, IA, LA, MD, MI, MT, NJ, NC, ND, OH, TN, VA, WV, WY)States that have added quality standards for raw milk since 2008 are highlighted in red2011 Survey Questions:1. Is the sale of raw milk for direct human consumption legal in your state?2. Do your state laws or regulations expressly prohibit animal share raw milk operations?3. Do your state laws or regulations authorize raw milk sales only on the farm?4. Are raw milk sales at retail stores or markets, separate from the farm, legal in your state?5. Does your state have any microbial standards for raw milk sold to the consumer? If yes, please specify.6. Is sampling for compliance with the above standard(s) conducted at the farm bulk tank or at the final package/bottle?7. Are there any county or local government bans on raw milk sales in your state?8. Approximately how many producers of milk to be sold raw are operating in your state?9. What has changed regarding the regulation of raw milk since the 2008 survey? PD—National Association of Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) press release
The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute has released two studies that compared six rumen-protected lysine (RPL) products for both the release of lysine over a 24-hour period in high and low moisture total mixed rations (TMR) and the efficacy of rumen protection of RPL products after mechanical mixing in TMRs.In the first study, after 24-hour exposure in TMRs with either 40 percent dry matter (DM) or 52 percent DM, only 3.8 percent of the lysine in Metabolys BY-PASS LYSINE was lost.advertisementadvertisement This data suggest that the H.J. Baker product can be used in once-daily feeding programs with minimal lysine product loss occurring.In the second study, Metabolys BY-PASS LYSINE was placed in Dacron bags, mixed for 6 minutes in a TMR and placed in the rumen for 0, 6, 12 and 24 hours. A 13.5 percent lysine loss was reported.The Miner Institute study supports a University of Georgia study of six rumen/duodenal cannulated cows. The results of the University of Georgia cannulated cow study for MetaboLys BY-PASS LYSINE showed 88.89 percent rumen bypass of lysine and 79.37 percent digestibility of lysine in the small intestine.“We are honored to have the Miner Institute include MetaboLys BY-PASS LYSINE in their study and we are very pleased our product performed so well,” said H.J. Baker’s Danny Wright.”This third party research validates the performance of MetaboLys BY-PASS LYSINE.” PDadvertisement—From H.J. Baker news release
Activities9:20 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Music with Larry Arbour10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Swing into Spring with Swing Farmington – free swing dance lessons10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. American Legion Groves-Walker Post serving hot dogs11 a.m. Cooking Demo with Chef Zachariah Peterlin, Peterlin’s RestaurantAll day – Little Sprouts Children’s Activity Corner near the pavilionAll day – Health screenings by Beaumont Farmington Hills Hospital staffLearn more about the market at farmingtonfarmersmarket.com. Reported by Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) The Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market opens its 25th season Saturday at the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion and Riley Park in downtown Farmington. Here’s what you should know about this spring celebration:Hours9 a.m.-2 p.m. The market will officially open around 9:20 a.m. with a bell ringing at the close of the opening ceremony.VendorsThe market will have a full complement of vendors from around the area selling Michigan products and produce. Opening day is Flower Day – so look for lots of blooms from local growers.ParkingA 2017 study showed that public parking lots downtown hit 100 percent occupancy during the Saturday market, so pack your patience when you head out. Your best bets:Walk or bikeVillage Commons shopping center, located on the north side of Grand River and a block and a half east of Riley ParkPublic lot at the Masonic HallParking spaces along Farmington Road north of Grand River(Click for the full-sized PDF.)Watch for posted 3-hour time limits in parking lots at the Downtown Farmington Center and north of Grand River.ForecastAccording to the National Weather Service, we may see showers, with thunderstorms possible after 1 p.m. High near 75.Opening CeremonyThe 9 a.m. ceremony begins with the Farmington High School Drumline, Groves-Walker American Legion Post color guard, and Heather Yanke Lunneberg singing the National Anthem. Emcee will be WJBK-TV anchor and reporter Amy Lange. Guest speakers will include: Farmington Mayor Steve SchneemanConnie O’Malley, President, Beaumont Hospital, Farmington HillsDirk Beamer, Wright Beamer AttorneysCoach Terry Schalk, Store Director, Fresh ThymeKelly Wilson, Taste the Local Difference MagazineMary Martin, Executive Director, Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce
Could sweet corn show up at the Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market Saturday?It’s possible, Market Master Walt Gajewski says. But one thing’s certain, you’ll see Michigan peaches and plenty of other produce from growers at the Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park.Open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., the Founders Festival weekend Market will also feature the Friends of the Farmington Community Library used book sale, music by Razor Ray & T Bone Bradley as Full Tilt Boogie Blues, the international flavors of Dobre Pierogi and Evie’s Tamales, and much more.For a list of in-season produce or to learn more about the market, visit farmingtonfarmersmarket.com.Keep in mind that the Greater Farmington Founders Festival parade and LOC Color Run will have Grand River closed in front of the market starting at 8:30 a.m.Here’s a little parking advice from our opening day coverage in May: FARMERS MARKET OPENS SATURDAY, HERE’S WHERE TO PARK Reported by Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
During the 2016 presidential primary election, the City of Farmington processed 824 absent voter (AV) ballots.Already this year, Clerk Mary Mullison said, her office has issued more than 1,800. She expects the number to top 2,000 and, on Monday, council members unanimously approved a contract for services to help process them.Mullison explained that Oakland County has offered to run ballots through their high-speed scanners. She said some election workers have decided not to participate due to age or health issues, so this would free up those who typically spend Election Day processing AV ballots to work in polling places.The county’s services are free of charge, and the city will save about $1,300 that would have been paid to AV board workers.While all six polling stations will remain open, Mullison said, “We like to encourage people to vote absentee to keep people safe and keep our election workers safe, too.”Mayor Pro Tem Joe LaRussa noted that the county will pick up only those ballots cast by 4 p.m. on the day before the August 4 primary and asked how many Mullison expected on Election Day. Based on a 8 percent return in the March primary, she said, the 25-50 ballots per precinct could easily be processed at polling places.Mullison said security measures won’t vary from any other election. “It’s the same thing, it’ll just be transported a few extra miles.”There’s still time to apply for and receive an absent voter ballot. Visit farmgov.com/City-Services/City-Clerk/Election-Information/August-4,-2020-Primary-Election.aspx to learn more. Reported by jonihubred Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)