Board of Elections Prep for Primary

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Local Boards of Elections are gearing up for Tuesday’s primary elections.

Officials said on Monday they tested voting machines and counted 3,000 absentee ballots. The board spent $250,000 to lease two scanners for the next five years. Director Tom McCabe said the new equipment should significantly speed up the ballot county process.

“On the old machines if there was a write-in candidate, there’s an over-vote, there’s a problem with the ballot that machine would stop. This (one) actually sorts,” said McCabe.

Mahoning County is the first in the state to use the new models, and a team of election workers from Cleveland were at the Board of Elections Monday to see the machines in action.

“We thought this would be a good time to get new equipment in prior to the governor’s race next year when we’re going to have heavy turnout,” said McCabe.

Officials said they expect low voter turnout on Tuesday, less than 20 percent of registered voters are expected in Mahoning County and only 12 to 15 percent in Trumbull and Columbiana counties. Voter turnout in communities deciding on local school issues is expected to be slightly higher.

Several of the high-profile races include the primary for Youngstown mayor, Warren’s city council president and several school levies.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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