OTTAWA — Putnam County Board of Elections members held a public test for its new voting equipment during a special meeting Tuesday to make sure the equipment is ready for the Nov. 5 election.
Absentee voting began Tuesday and continues until Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. at the office at 575 Ottawa-Glandorf Road Suite 12. The Nov. 5 local races in Putnam County include Pandora-Gilboa School Board, Ottawa and Ottoville Village Council and Jackson, Monroe and Monterey Township trustee. Mayoral elections in Fort Jennings and Leipsic also will take place.
Each county is required by the state to test its equipment for logic and accuracy and to make sure the equipment is running correctly. Putnam County BOE members and Karen Lammers, Putnam County Board of Elections director, tested three machines Tuesday and will test the rest in the next weeks.
“It is important to do this test to make sure everything is up and running,” Lammers said.
Voters can vote absentee the next three weeks at the office Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the last week of Oct. 28 the office is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The office will be open Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for absentee voting and Nov. 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. On Nov. 4 the office will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Early voting will not take place Monday Oct. 14 on Columbus Day.
There were 21 DS200 machines, 15 express vote machines and one DS450 scanner that absentee vote results are run through that were purchased.
“This is a quicker voting process having this new voting equipment for absentee voting,” Lammers said.
She said voters now visit the office with their driver’s license, sign their name and address and don’t have to fill out any paperwork to vote. Before, voters were required to fill out absentee voting paperwork. Lammers said it will be a simpler and easier process.
The previous election equipment was purchased in 2008 and had not been replaced since then, according to Lammers.
Tony Schroeder, Putnam County GOP chair, said the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation to provide funding to county boards of elections to be able to maintain new voting equipment. The county received funding from them to purchase the new voting equipment.
“We wanted to make sure the equipment is in place this fall before we get the big voting volumes in the presidential election next year,” Schroeder said.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.