DARKE COUNTY — “All in all, it went very well,” said Paul Schlecty, Darke County Board of Elections director after the General Election on Tuesday.
No major issues were reported with the new voting machines that replaced the Diebold TSX voting machines that were utilized in the county over the last 14 years.
According to the director, voters and poll workers alike were surprised at the simplified and quick process compared to the old system. The touch screens more responsive, and there was the added benefit of reviewing the paper ballot, in hand, before tabulation.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to so far has been very, very pleased with the new equipment,” continued Schlecty.
It was over the summer that the BOE purchased new voting equipment from Election Systems and Software, an Omaha, Nebraska-based company. The cost was $714,334, but a grant covered most of the purchase price ($650,222.36), with county commissioners agreeing to pay the remaining $64,111.64.
Poll workers had an opportunity to train and learn new procedures well before elections.
Schlecty noted board members were amazed at the simplified tabulation process. Instead of collecting information from each TSX voting machine, nearly 200 in the county, information only had to be collected from one digital tabulator at each of the thirty voting locations.
“It was much more efficient, calmer and quieter,” said Schlecty. He shared that turnout was at 19.1 percent, which he noted as lower, but “I do feel it was a good number for everyone, almost one out of every five registered voters in the county.”
Those familiar with the new process will be able to go into the next election, “knowing exactly what they need to do,” continued Schlecty, just in time for the Presidential Primary Election on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
Anyone interested in helping at the polls is encouraged to contact the BOE. It is an opportunity to serve one’s community and to earn some extra cash.
If interested, stop by the BOE office at 300 Garst Ave. or call 937/548-1835.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.