Board plans to replace data server

Recent storms struck a server at the Auglaize County Elections Board causing concern that it may need to be replaced soon.

During a regular meeting this week, members of the Elections Board approved funds — approximately $3,800 — to purchase a new system and get it installed, however since the meeting, continued monitoring has suggested that the Elections Board may be able to get by with what they have until its maintenance contract expires in April.

“It must have got hit by the bad weather,” said Auglaize County Elections Board Director Carolyn Campbell. “It didn’t turn on after the storm.”

The county’s technology crew replaced the power source to the server to get it to turn back on, but the outside company overseeing the system expressed concerns that it was not always communicating as it should with the state. Monitoring through the rest of the week has offered a little more hope that the server probably can make it through the end of the year and would not have to be replaced immediately, as originally thought.

The server, used for voter registration by the office, maintains the database — tracking absentee ballots and keeping track of registered voters and changes, said Campbell.

“Without it, we wouldn’t even know who is eligible to vote,” Campbell said.

“We have to have it in place and working,” she said.

She said a big concern is if the system would go down completely and couldn’t be used for day-to-day data entry, it could really put the office behind as it prepares for the November presidential election. Currently, they are handling between 25 and 50 new voter registrations, address or name changes each day.

“When we can do it every day, it’s fine, but if we get behind a week we would be scrambling,” Campbell said.

“It’s still working now but every time we do something the information should update at the state level and hasn’t always been doing it when it should,” she said.

The Elections Board director reassured voters that the office has not lost any of their information and nothing has been compromised.

Data still saves and is stored locally, the only delay has been that it sometimes takes longer than it should to pass that information on to the state database.