XENIA — Despite some hiccups, Election Day operations in Greene County largely went well, according to Greene County Board of Elections Director Llyn McCoy. A poll worker shortage and the implementation of new voter check-in technology were two of the issues faced by election officials in the Nov. 3 general election.
McCoy said the county ended up being short by about 30-40 poll workers, but said enough were recruited so that Democrats and Republicans were at each polling location.
“We were still short, so we had some new folks there not entirely familiar with the procedures so we had some hiccups with those folks,” she said. “Given the poll worker shortage and the fact that we were implementing something new, we thought it went really, really well.”
For the first time Greene County voters were checked in using e-poll books – iPads running special software – which replaced the paper poll books that were used previously.
The county recently spent about $158,600 for the 115 e-poll books and software and will receive an 85 percent reimbursement from the state for the purchase.
“We were pleased with it,” McCoy said of the new technology. “It was a learning curve. Next year March will be smoother and then by the presidential election we’ll be old hat at it. We were impressed with the product. We really liked how it worked.”
McCoy had hoped prior to the election that the new technology would help reduce check-in times from 2.5 minutes down to 40 seconds. McCoy said that polling locations achieved that goal earlier in the day, but lost time as the polls got busier.
“One thing that kept us from that 40-second turnout time is the fact that we were still dependent on our old technology as far as encoding a card for voters to take with them to the machine,” she said. “It was still a two-step process.”
According to McCoy, new technology planned for use in the March election should help to move check-in times toward the shortened waits.
Greene County had about a 46 percent voter turnout in the Nov. 3 election, which McCoy said was higher than the “low 30s” percentage typical of other off-year elections.
Approximately 800 provisional ballots from throughout the county will need to be validated before they are accepted. The results of the election will be certified by the Greene County Board of Elections Nov. 19.
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.