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The Ohio Association of Election Officials (OAEO) produced this video to help provide the public with an inside glimpse into the planning of each election. Each county board of elections follows these processes to ensure that a successful election is administered. The Wayne County Board of Elections is a member of the OAEO.

one vote matters

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today offered more reasons why every vote matters and can often have a significant impact on the outcome of an election.

Based on a review of recounts conducted following the 2014 General Election on November 4th, seven local issues were decided by one vote or tied. In each of these instances, one person could have made the difference in deciding whether local taxes would go up, bond issues passed or an area restaurant or store could sell liquor.

“Whether it is a statewide or local issue, every ballot question has an impact on our lives and it is important that every voice is heard,” Secretary Husted said. “When voters stay home they allow others to make these decisions for them.”

Secretary Husted also noted why these findings reinforce the emphasis his administration places on making it easy to vote and hard to cheat.

“Accurate voter rolls and integrity in the elections process are always important, but when a single vote can carry such weight it raises the stakes,” Secretary Husted said. “We, as elections officials, continue to do our part to ensure casting a ballot is easy and the system is secure, but ultimately it is up to the voter to take advantage of the many opportunities to participate in every election.”

A total of 70 local issues and races have been decided by one vote or tied (based on a review of recounts conducted by the Secretary of State’s Office following the 2013 General, 2014 Primary and 2014 General elections).

Read more about Secretary Husted’s efforts to make it easy to vote here, to keep Ohio’s voter rolls accurate and up-to-date here, and on his vigilance in combatting voter fraud and voter suppression here and here.

The mission of the Wayne County Board of Elections is to conduct fair, honest and transparent elections for the citizens of our county. We simultaneously, in the words of Secretary of State Jon Husted, make it “easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

While our purpose is not to influence the amount of people who vote in any given election, it is still a by-product of what we do. So it’s been disappointing to see the lack of voter participation in local and state elections the past two years, capped by an extremely low turnout for this past November general election.

The best way to understand exactly how poor voter turnout has been the last two years is to look at comparable elections from the past.

For the general election of 2013, Wayne County had a total of 15,031 people vote, or 20.63 percent of all registered voters. By comparison, the 2009 general election, which featured the same local offices on the ballot, had 34,140 voters turnout, or 46.39 percent of registered voters.

Now fast forward to the general election of 2014. Only 27,297 Wayne County voters voted, or 37.39 percent of all registered voters. That’s 9 percent less than the 2009 general election, when there wasn’t a governor, representative to Congress or any statewide candidates on the ballot. When compared to the 2010 general election, the last election featuring the same offices, the 2014 general election looks even worse. That year, 38,869 people voted, or 51.83 percent of all registered voters in Wayne County.

This is not just a problem in Wayne County. Voter participation is down both statewide and around the country. The voter turnout for the November 2014 general election in Ohio was 36.2 percent, down 13 percentage points from just four years earlier. Nationwide just 36.4 percent of the voting-eligible population voted in this year’s general election, the lowest turnout since 1942 when many Americans were actively involved in World War II.

There are a myriad of reasons people give for not voting, but none of them are valid enough to warrant skipping any election. Voting is a sacred right that was written into our Constitution and fought for and defended throughout American history. Whether you realize it or not, the action of publicly elected officials, from the president down to local council members, affects the life of every single citizen. We shouldn’t have more people choosing not to participate in democracy than those that do. Can’t we do better than that?

Peter James, Director

Wayne County

Board of Elections

By BOBBY WARREN Staff Writer Published:


Nancy Hamilton receives a commemorative Wayne County flag from the Commissioners.

WOOSTER — Wayne County’s top election official just did not want to go through another presidential election, and she won’t have to. She’s retiring.

Director Nancy Hamilton, who has been at the Board of Elections for 19 years, is retiring at the end of November.

“It’s time,” Hamilton said. “I didn’t want to be here for another presidential election. Let the new blood take over. Technology was passing me by.”

While Hamilton alleged technology was passing her by, she was praised for her information technology work by Jean Mohr, the Democratic chairwoman of the Board of Elections, and Dorothy Ginther, a former Republican board member.

“She has stepped up and taken care of the IT stuff that no one would,” Mohr said.

“She did her job the way she was supposed to, and she knows technology — though she will tell you she doesn’t,” Ginther said.

“I asked her to come work for the Board of Elections part time,” said Jim Carmichael, a former chairman of the Wayne County Republican Party and former board member. “I knew her and her family for years. I thought she would be a really good worker, and it turned out to be true.”

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All Board meetings are held at the Wayne County Board of Elections office at 200 Vanover St. Suite #1, Wooster, OH. They are open to the public.

  • January 6, 10:30 a.m.
  • February 10, 10:30 a.m.
  • March 10, 10:30 a.m.
  • April 14, 10:30 a.m.
  • May 18, 10:30 a.m.
  • May 21, 10:30 a.m.
  • July 14, 10:30 a.m.
  • August 11, 10:30 a.m.
  • September 8, 10:30 a.m.
  • October 13, 10:30 a.m.
  • November 3, 6:30 a.m.
  • November 16, 10:30 a.m.
  • November 19, 10:30 a.m.
  • December 8, 10:30 a.m.