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Elections officials test paper-balloting voting machines

Published: Tue, November 8, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.

Elections officials test paper-balloting voting machines

By David Skolnick



After testing its new paper-ballot voting machines, Mahoning County Board of Elections officials say they are ready for today’s general election.

Board officials tested the equipment Monday at their office in Oakhill Renaissance Place on Oak Hill Avenue on the city’s South Side.

“We feel pretty confident,” said Thomas McCabe, the board’s director, about the new voting machines.

It’s been “busy” at the board since July, he said.

During that month, board employees verified 31,251 signatures from registered county voters on petitions to place Issue 2 on today’s ballot.

If approved, the issue would restrict some collective- bargaining rights for public employees.

Then the board moved its office in September from the South Side Annex to Oakhill.

At the same time, the board moved from electronic touch-screen voting to paper ballots.

“It’s been crazy, but we’re set for Election Day,” McCabe said. “We’ve put in a lot of work in a short time.”

Those who voted early in this general election in Mahoning County total 17,396.

About 60,000 to 65,000 voters are expected to cast ballots at their polling locations in the county today.

The county is buying 140 optical-scanner machines to count paper ballots for $792,257 over six years.

Under the new system, those voting at the polls will be given paper ballots with paper sleeves to put them in after voting at private voting booths.

Then voters go to the optical scanners and place their paper ballots into the machine to be counted.

Memory cards carrying the results from those scanners will be brought to the board of elections for the count.


1iBuck(231 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Who made the scanners? Who has access to them? Are the counts cross-checked? Paper ballots are an improvement over touch-screens (no physical feed-back or record that votes were recorded as voter intended), the old lever-action machines (subject to pre-stored "results"), and the punched cards ("hanging chads"), but there's still plenty of room for mischief (e.g. programmed-in miscounting, feeding ballot formatted for one precinct into scanner for another without detection...).

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2author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Too bad the SPINDicator doesn't a story on how much the knuckleheads at the Mahoning County Board of Fixxed Elections have spent on voting machines since 1999!

Over $6 million! Know what that could have done for our community?

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3MARGEOMATIC(128 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

check the trunk of the car...

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4AnotherAverageCitizen(1191 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Americans should take pride on election day. Many men and woman have sacrificed their lives so all (ever 18)Americans can vote.

But some like Huckabee discourage voting if you don't agree with them.

Make a list," said Huckabee, referring to supporters' family and friends. "Call them and ask them, 'Are you going to vote on Issue 2 and are you going to vote for it?' If they say no, well, you just make sure that they don't go vote. Let the air out of their tires on election day. Tell them the election has been moved to a different date. That's up to you how you creatively get the job done."


And so many complain about union bullying.

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5WhatRUAfraidOf(85 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Went to vote this morning and they completely switched around where the precincts are at our polling station - for no apparent reason! I hated the paper ballots. They handed them to us in a file folder and then, after we colored in the ovals with pen, we had to stand over them to make them remove the perforated part at the bottom. The worst was that you had to feed it into the machine with the election judge for the polling station standing there watching. Unlike the old paper ballots that would easily slide from the metal containers into the boxes, no such luck with the file folders. The ballots were pretty much out in the open for anyone to see. I didn't like the loss of privacy at all.

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6mark(60 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

These paper ballots are a hassle. The electronic machines were much easier and faster to use.

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7AnotherAverageCitizen(1191 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Well I guess the other 83% should get out and vote. Oh those powerful unions bullies, the ones who stand up for the workers, oh they are so mean.
17% control the vote. is that what you are telling us? Bush is the one who won on EXTREMELY suspicious voting, uh I mean hanging chads that his BROTHER counted.

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