Anyone who votes in Lucas County knows that there’s a limit to how far the computer revolution has invaded the election process. At each of the approximately 350 precinct locations, poll workers flip through paper binders to locate a voter’s name, and then the voter signs his or her name in that book. After the election, those binders then go back to the Lucas County Board of Elections office to be audited, page by page, to verify who voted and who didn’t. While that time-honored process is not going to change in time for the Nov. 4 election, the Lucas County Board of Elections would like to replace the old paper and pen method with computerized tablets at least in time for the 2016 presidential election.
A request for $760,920 is on the election board’s budget that has been submitted to the Lucas County commissioners for consideration in 2015. It’s part of a proposed budget that, if fully funded, would be an increase over the 2014 budget of about 33 percent. The current year’s budget is $2,859,718 and the projected 2015 budget is $3,798,889.
The salary portion of the budget — $1,053,064, reflects a 3 percent pay increase that was negotiated by the county commissioners.
In Ohio, 14 counties have electronic poll books and by the end of the year more than 20 counties will have them, according to Lucas County Elections Director Gina Kaczala.