VOTING Ohio is ready for Election Day, official says
Voters should be receiving a flier from the elections board next week.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Election officials in Ohio are ready for what could be the busiest Election Day in the state's history, said Gracia Hillman, vice-chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
"There's no doubt in my mind that Ohio's ready," Hillman said today at the Mahoning County Board of Elections office.
Hillman has been touring boards of elections in Ohio during the past week to review preparations for next month. The election assistance commission was created last year to make recommendations to local election officials throughout the country about voting systems and voter registration.
"I've been very impressed" with Ohio, Hillman said.
Ohio has been called a "battleground state" where votes could have major implications on the outcome of the Nov. 2 presidential election.
Hillman said any disputes over the outcome in Ohio would most likely focus on provisional ballots, which are cast by voters who changed addresses after the registration deadline. Boards of elections are required to wait at least 10 days before counting ballots so they can verify the addresses of the voters.
But some candidates may not want to wait 10 days to learn if they won or lost, Hillman said.
She also was asked about the recent determination that about 104 percent of those who are 18 and older in Mahoning County are registered to vote, which is impossible. Hillman said to a point, elections officials have to trust that voters are telling the truth about their name and address when they register.
Concern for system
Some area officials and residents also have expressed concerns about the county's electronic voting system, which does not produce a paper receipt after recording votes. Hillman noted that a federal committee is meeting to make recommendations to the election assistance commission on improvements to electronic voting systems.
The committee's recommendations are expected to be submitted next spring, she said.
After Hillman's presentation, both county board of elections President Mark Monroe and Director Mike Sciortino stressed that they believe the board is ready for Election Day. They noted that county commissioners have agreed to spend $55,000 to mail a bright yellow flier to every county voter reminding them about the election and informing them about where to cast their ballot. Voters should receive the flier next week, officials said.