The board will have a hearing Aug. 14 to consider a complaint about the eligibility of a Youngstown mayoral candidate.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County Board of Elections has put the finishing touches on a voter precinct boundary program that eliminates 25 percent of the county's precincts.
The board approved the redistricting of precincts Friday in Canfield city and township, Campbell, Austintown, Boardman and Beaver, eliminating 39 precincts in those areas.
The board also agreed to not reduce the number of voter precincts in Berlin, Ellsworth, Goshen, Green, Jackson, Milton, Smith, Beloit, Craig Beach and Washingtonville.
"This project has been under way for a long time," said Mark E. Munroe, board chairman. "It got started over two years ago."
When it takes effect: The new precincts take effect with the Nov. 6 general election.
The board had redistricted the rest of the county earlier this year, eliminating 65 other precincts.
Board officials say they are not concerned that people will not know where to vote in November because there were minimal problems with voters adjusting to the new precincts during the May 8 primary election in Youngstown, Struthers and Poland.
The board plans to mail two notices to all voters in the county informing them of their voting precinct a few weeks before the Nov. 6 election, said Thomas P. McCabe, the board's deputy director.
The county was required by the state to redraw boundaries to reduce the number of precincts. The board wanted to eliminate about 100 of the 416 precincts. In the end, 104 were cut.
Saves money: The move saves about $1,000 per precinct per election.
It also will reduce 25 percent of the Democratic and Republican precinct committee people after the May 2002 primary election.
Also Friday, the board set an Aug. 14 hearing date to hear the protest of Andrew Douglas Sr. of Youngstown, a Democratic precinct committeeman, regarding the certification of Percy Squire as a Youngstown mayoral candidate.
Douglas contends Squire, a Columbus attorney who recently changed his voter registration back to Youngstown, should not be considered a Youngstown resident and thus is ineligible to run for the seat.
Mayor George M. McKelvey, who is running for re-election, also is expected to file a protest.
Anyone wanting to protest the eligibility of Squire or any other independent candidate has until July 30 to file a complaint. Board officials said any other complaints filed against Squire will be heard at the Aug. 14 hearing.