Election officials have reported that voting today seems to be going well. The Marysville High School Fieldhouse, above, is one of several new polling locations. Officials have consolidated several polling locations for financial as well as other considerations. (Journal-Tribune photo by Mac Cordell)
While there are new locations and new equipment, voting officials are saying that Election Day is going well.
“We have had a few things, but it is the usual stuff,” said Brandon Clay, director of the Union County board of Elections, specifically mention a printer that wasn’t working correctly at first.
Clay said he hasn’t heard any concerns about the new polling locations or the new equipment.
In the past, Union County has had 41 precincts, voting at 18 locations around the county.
This year, there are 45 precincts voting at 10 locations.
Deputy Director Tina LaRoche said that if voters have any question about where they vote or what they need to vote, they can call the board of elections office at (937) 642-2836 or (800) 531-2217.
She said there are poll workers at each location to help voters with the new equipment.
That is part of the advantage to having fewer polling locations. Election officials have said it can be difficult to get poll workers. By consolidating polling locations, officials can make certain there is enough workers to run the location and hopefully a few extra at each site to offer additional help to voters.
“The machines are new for everyone so we are asking for patience,” LaRoche said.
Justin Hogan, a voting location manager at the Maryville high School where many of the Marysville precincts vote, said there were voters waiting when the polls opened. He said voting was steady, but there was never a line.
Board officials said early voting is heavier than previous similar elections. They said the office has received 2,096 early votes — 1,511 by mail, 11 from overseas service personnel, 63 carried into the office by hand, 101 cast at nursing homes and 411 mailed in to the board of elections office.
“I think it is a little bit higher than we expected,” Clay said. “It is higher than last time.”
In the week leading up to election day, the board received more than 1,200 of the ballots.
Additionally, while only one-third of registered voters in the county are Republicans, 1,204 of the votes already cast, more than 57%, are from Republicans.
Clay reminded voters the polls will be open till 7:30 p.m.
While ballots will be counted today, the results will not be final until the board of elections meets Nov. 18.
In total, the new equipment cost $1.19 million, $667,000 of it paid by the state and the remainder by the county.
The purchase includes 258 ballot-marking machines, 30 of which are Americans With Disabilities Act compliant. It also includes 30 vote tabulators and 67 carts for the ballot marking machines.
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