Mahoning County rolls out electronic poll books in May election

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Voters in Youngstown will see something new this Tuesday. And it should make the process easier on Election Day.

Voters have gotten used to using electronic machines to cast their ballots. But now they’ll start to use them when they sign in to get their ballots.

Mahoning County has purchased 200 electronic poll books for Tuesday’s election. They’ll be used to speed up the process of obtaining ballots. Instead of signing a pen-and-paper poll book, voters can bring a photo I-D to be authorized almost immediately.

“It takes exactly 18 seconds if you have a driver’s license to check in, get your stub, and go to the table and receive your ballot. So it’s going to be a much-faster process, much more efficient, and it will really make the election smoother,” said Joyce Kale-Pesta, Mahoning County Board of Elections.

The Board of Elections will only be rolling these out in Youngstown and Struthers for the May election. They will be used all across Mahoning County in November.

Mahoning County paid $289,000 for the poll books, but they are expected to be reimbursed by the state. The goal is to make sure everything runs smoothly for the big election — the 2016 Presidential election next November.

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