ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The board of election is counting the days until the Nov. 7 general election, with outreach efforts extended to the county’s high school students who might be interested in participating in more ways than just casting a ballot.
Elections Director Aaron Moore said they have high hopes for involvement.
“We call it our Youth at the Booth. We’re just asking seniors in high school if they would like to sign up to work on Election Day. They’ll go through the same training as all of our other poll workers, and if we have enough sign up, we try to get them to each location on Election Day so they can learn how,” Moore said. “We didn’t do much reaching out during the August (special) election because that was the middle of the summer, but with this one we’re hoping we can reach out to the schools, reach out to any of the after-school programs, things like that, and get some students to sign up.”
On the issue of poll workers, the board has considered offering reduced training hours for more experienced poll workers while newer poll workers train the full three hours.
Moore said that may be considered going into 2024.
“We will be moving in that. This election, we’re probably going to stick with our normal routine, maybe with a little bit of changes to it, but in the future we will be sitting down and readjusting.”
Moore said there were many newer poll workers during the August special election, and he hopes to see them continue in the November election.
“We’re excited to have them with their second election and move to the general election,” he said.
“We always need poll workers,” Moore said. “Trainings don’t start until next month, so please call now. We can get you signed up, get you ready and get you into a class.”
Voting reminders will also be sent out to the area’s nursing homes.
In other business, the board has received its security directive from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office and is in contact with the firm Digital Data, which handles information technology for the department. Moore said they will have an assessment and cost to present to the state by the due date of Sept. 29.
Also, Moore pointed out that the board’s computers are reaching their five-year life cycle in 2024 and 2025 and he will investigate gradually replacing them.
“It’s just something I am looking at ahead of time,” he said. “We’ll see what the priorities are and what needs to be addressed now.”
The board has received $42,068 from the secretary of state’s office for electronic poll books. Moore said it would be optimal to have one for all 70 precincts as well as some extras. Board member Michael Shaheen said the poll books have worked well,
“But the last thing we want is to have some crisis if there’s an issue on that day. As a result, if we have a couple extra especially in the larger precincts,” he said. “If we have a couple extra in the Carnes Center (in St. Clairsville) and we need it in Bethesda, it behooves us and it’s financially prudent.”
Moore said the board will determine the optimum number of poll books.
The cost of the August special election for the county was $108,000 and went $18,440.38 over budget. The board will submit to the secretary of state’s office for reimbursement.
The board office is located at 52180 National Road East, St. Clairsville and can be reached at 740-526-0188.