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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.
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individuals could register to vote and cast their ballot on the same day was maintained by the agreement as it was originally enacted by the 130th General Assembly through Senate Bill 238.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.
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.
If you received a letter in the mail indicating that you are in precinct Chippewa Twp. #1, it was INCORRECTLY printed that your voting location is the Community Building in Marshallville. YOUR CORRECT POLLING LOCATION is the Chippewa Township Building at 14228 GALEHOUSE ROAD in Doylestown. Corrected letters to affected voters are being sent this week.
The Wayne County Board of Elections has just completed the largest precinct consolidation (as a percentage of total precincts) in its history. We lowered the number of precincts in Wayne County from 81 to 67, and coupled with a few new polling locations for already existing precincts, about 10,000 voters are receiving letters in early March notifying them of changes to their voting location.
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