Elections board finds way to cut costs
By Tim Yovich
The board is looking at leasing 50 voting machines for the fall general election.
WARREN — The Trumbull County Board of Elections has approved one cost-cutting measure and is considering a second.
Meeting in special session Tuesday, the board agreed to combine two Newton Falls precincts for voting in the special Aug. 5 balloting on a 5.5-mill, five-year operating levy for the Jackson-Milton Local School District, which is primarily in Mahoning County.
Voters in Newton Falls precincts D and E in Trumbull County vote for the issue.
Precinct D at the United Methodist Church with its 58 registered voters will cast ballots in precinct E at the township administration building. Precinct E has 55 registered voters.
Kelly Pallante, board director, said the move will save the school district $375 because fewer poll workers will be required.
Also, the board is considering renting voting machines for the November general election from Van Wert County in western Ohio.
Jodi Fiorenzo Dibble, board deputy director, told the board that Van Wert is willing to lease 50 touch-screen machines for $7,500. Buying 50 machines from a vendor would cost nearly $30,000, or $595 per machine.
Van Wert once used the same touch-screens as Trumbull uses, but Van Wert has switched to optical-scanner machines, and its touch-screen machines are not being used and are in storage. Trumbull County has 851 machines.
If the deal is approved with Van Wert, precincts with high voter turnouts with two machines assigned to it will be allocated three machines, Pallante said.
In another matter, Pallante and Dibble told the board that county commissioners have put on hold spending $32,000 for new work stations for election board workers at the Youngstown Road board office because of a lawsuit.
The current desks are 30 to 40 years old and were not designed for use with computers, Pallante explained.
Elections board members filed a lawsuit against the commissioners in May seeking the same health insurance coverage as board workers.
Commissioners terminated the insurance coverage for election board members because they have part-time positions.
Board members and commissioners have hired private attorneys to represent them. The county prosecutor’s office usually represents both the board and commissioners, but that office is out because of a conflict of interest.
The board will have a work session from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the board offices to discuss job descriptions.