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By BOBBY WARREN Staff Writer Published: May 9, 2015 4:00AM

WOOSTER — Online voter registration: It makes the process easier for those with Internet access, will save elections workers some time and money and it won’t cost local officials any more money. Count the Wayne County commissioners in.

Scott Wiggam, Jim Carmichael and Ann Obrecht met with Josette Burns of the Secretary of State’s Office, along with the county’s top elections officials, Peter James and Julie Leathers, to discuss the topic Monday.

Secretary of State Jon Husted is trying to build momentum with the issue to have state legislators approve of the measure, so he is asking for support from county commissioners, which is why Burns was in Wayne County.

The commissioners met with Burns previously to hear more about the issue, and they were initially skeptical, primarily because they did not know what it would cost county taxpayers.

Burns reported back there would be no local cost to implementing online voter registration, and it might even save the county money.

Husted’s office estimated the Wayne County Board of Elections will save between 50 cents and $1 per registration. For the registration forms it processed from 2011-2014, it would have amounted to $20,100-$40,200.

James, though, said he did not think the county’s savings would be a lot because his office does not hire additional people to handle registrations.

“It’s an everyday thing,” Leathers said. “Some days there are 10; some days there are two.”

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By BOBBY WARREN Staff Writer Published: April 22, 2015 4:00AM

WOOSTER — Uncle Sam might want you, but so, too, do Peter James and Julie Leathers, Wayne County’s top election officials, who are recruiting new poll workers.

Right now, the office is in a good position with its poll workers, said James, the director of the board. For the May election, there will be 52 polling locations in the county. The election is county-wide because of a Wayne County Children Services 0.2-mill renewal levy.

The Board of Elections has been continually reducing the amount of precincts. There were once more than 100; the number has dropped to 67. Board President Earl Kerr said the combining of some precincts is why there will be only 52 locations opened for the May 5 election.

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COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today released the following statement announcing a settlement agreement with the Ohio Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other plaintiffs on their challenge to the state’s scheduled voting hours:

“One of my primary goals is to ensure uniformity in Ohio elections so that every voter in this state is treated equally and fairly. Today we are preserving that uniformity for all Ohio voters while maintaining ample opportunity to cast a ballot and participate in the democratic process.”

“This agreement is a victory for Ohio voters. With the issues that accompany the 2016 presidential election drawing nearer it is important that we resolve these lingering questions now. Ohio has been and will remain a state where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

The elimination of the overlap week where individuals could register to vote and cast their ballot on the same day was maintained by the agreement as it was originally enacted by the 130th General Assembly through Senate Bill 238. The plaintiffs also agreed to drop any claim to attorneys’ fees or damages.

The settlement, which will dismiss the suit with prejudice, was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio’s Eastern Division today, marking the end of litigation in the Ohio NAACP v. Husted (Case No. 2:14-CV-404).

The primary election next month will not be impacted as the hours set by the settlement agreement will not go into effect until after the May 2015 election.

Additional Resources:
Voting hours for elections after the May 2015 Primary and Special Election
Voting hours for the May 2015 Primary and Special Election as set by Directive 2014-17

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.

  • May 18, 10:30 a.m.
  • May 21, 10:30 a.m.
  • July 14, 10:30 a.m.
  • August 17, 10:30 a.m. (note change from August 11)
  • 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.

WOOSTER — Wayne County elections officials want to switch from paper poll books to electronic poll books, but they are expensive, the board president said.

Board of Elections members and staff have been listening to presentations from a variety of vendors, and all three county commissioners joined them Thursday for one with Mark Radke of ES&S.

“They’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, but they are expensive,” President Earl Kerr said.

Radke did not have a firm figure because the number of precincts in Wayne County has been reduced, but going to the ePoll books will likely be more than $100,000, plus ongoing license fees.

Electronic poll books are tablet computers precinct workers use to validate voters and collect signatures. A number of Ohio counties use the ES&S ePoll book, including Richland, which was the first.

Radke said his company’s model also can encode cards used in the touch-screen voting terminals Wayne County uses. This can help eliminate voters receiving the wrong ballot style on the computer cards.

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