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Mahoning Dems will go high-tech for treasurer vote

Published: Tue, May 24, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick



The Mahoning County Democratic Party is going high-tech when its precinct committee members vote for a new county treasurer June 6.

Rather than paper ballots, which can take long to fill out and count, the party will use equipment from Turning Technologies, a Youngstown tech firm, that allows voting on hand-held electronic units, said Chairman David Betras.

The new method will provide real-time voting and still provide for secret balloting, he said.

The old paper-ballot method “was a laborious process taking many hours,” Betras said.

“The problem is that many times, many of the central-committee members would leave not knowing a winner, or worse, if a second vote was needed many central committee members would not be available,” he said.

The winner must receive a majority plus one vote to be declared a winner.

This new process will be much faster and will show how well the candidates do in each community.

“I think the central- committee members will like this system much better,” Betras said. “At the appropriate time, the units will be activated and then voting will take place with real-time results on a big screen in front of everyone.”

The candidates, so far, are: Dan Yemma, chief deputy treasurer and a Struthers councilman; Kenneth A. Carano, who’s been Gov. Ted Strickland’s regional director, Ohio House member and Austintown Township trustee; and Roxanne DeNiro, 29-year employee of the treasurer’s office.

Candidates have until May 31 to submit to Betras letters of interest for the appointment.

Lisa Antonini, a former county Democratic Party chairwoman, resigned as treasurer May 16 after being charged federally with honest- services mail fraud for taking and failing to report a $3,000 cash contribution for her campaign in 2008.

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