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Polling locations limited to one ballot box

March 14, 2013

Auglaize County Elections Director Carolyn Campbell

Each polling location in the county is expected to have just one ballot box for the May primary.

Auglaize County Elections Board members discussed the option Wednesday during their regularly scheduled board meeting.

Auglaize County Elections Director Carolyn Campbell suggested they take one ballot box to each polling place except St. Marys.

She said with only one issue in each precinct, other than the small precinct of Buckland, which has both an Apollo school issue and local tax issue on its ballot, delivering a box to each precinct seems unnecessary.

The exception would be St. Marys, which has an issue and Republican ballot so it may be simpler and less confusing for them to have a box for each precinct, Campbell said.

“The spares would all be tested and ready to go,” Campbell said. “I would kind of like to try it and see how it goes. We can get used to only having one machine. I just don’t look for much of a turnout.”

Of the precincts casting ballots in the May primary, only four normally have two boxes.

Only using one ballot box at precincts other than St. Marys would require 21 ballot boxes be delivered. All the 34 precincts casting ballots would still need to be available with poll workers.

Board member Bill Roth expressed some concern about only having one ballot box in Wapakoneta and asked that a discussion be had with someone who regularly works the polls there and see how busy they get at certain times.

“If 10 people have to wait in line for one box in the morning we are going to get flack,” Roth said.

Campbell said lines at times are a possibility, but maybe just at the beginning of the day, and with just the Apollo Career Center school issue on the ballot for Wapakoneta voters, she didn’t know how much of an issue it would be.

Board President Fran Engle said she was not anticipating a long line, but there was still another meeting prior to the election for further discussion.

In making other plans for the May 7 primary, board members approved moving 37 Marion Local School District voters from German Township to Jackson Township, which has 110 voters on the same school issue.

“We are allowed to move to another township and combine them so we don’t have to pay the extra expenses and it saves us a few dollars,” Campbell said.

She planned to send all voters a letter advising them of the change, as well as an absentee ballot if they don’t want to go to Jackson Township and vote.

Nothing else is on the ballot for New Bremen, Minster and New Knoxville area voters.

In another money-saving measure, board members decided to go without a couple rovers for the primary.

With one person stationed in St. Marys and another in Wapakoneta, Campbell said she felt that was enough considering the ballot.

“There is only one issue every place, what really could happen that we can’t handle out of here?” Campbell said.

Roth said the biggest part would be getting everything started in the morning.

Engle said she didn’t think additional rovers were necessary for this election, as board members could be sent out if necessary to assist at a polling location.

In other business, board members approved the replacement of a computer for approximately $4,600, as recommended by the Auglaize County Computer Operations Manager Cameron Ruppert. The computer is to be purchased from Prenger, an Auglaize County business.

“Our computer is approximately four to five years old and with all the state regulations, it’s too much for one computer,” Campbell said, explaining that they will end up with two computers doing the work.

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