Testing of voting equipment and voter registration


Early October is a very busy time here at the Board of Elections office, as staff is managing several different tasks to prepare for Election Day. All voting equipment, including precinct based and early voting ballot scanners, ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities, and high-speed ballot scanners for mailed in ballots were thoroughly tested to verify that all ballots are being tabulated accurately. A test deck of marked ballots is run through each scanner and the results are uploaded into the tabulation software to ensure the votes are counted as marked. Later in October, the Board will conduct apublic test of voting equipment in three randomly chosen precincts, which will be repeated before each stage of the ballot counting process, another step in making sure the equipment is working properly. The public is invited to observe that test, which will take place during the board meeting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Our preparations now focus on the beginning of the early voting period. In my last column I explained how voting by mail works, so this column will focus on voting in-person at the Board’s Early Vote Center. Early voting begins on Oct. 12, 2022 and will continue until Nov. 7, 2022. All Ohio counties are open for extended hours during early voting, and this year voters will have a total of 198 hours to come in and cast their ballot, including one week with evening hours, two Saturdays, and one Sunday. The hours are posted on our website at www.boe.ohio.gov/miami/.

Voters will need to provide identification when appearing to vote in-person at the Early Vote Center, just as they do at polling locations. Acceptable identification includes state-issued driver’s license or state ID card, military ID, a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document. A Driver’s license must be current, and other forms must have the voter’s name and address and be no more than one year old.

The Early Vote Center will be set up the same as it was in the 2020 Presidential Election. Voters will use the “voters only” entrance to the old county courthouse at 215 W. Main St. in Troy on the south side of the building, directly behind the fountain. Signs will be posted outside to direct voters to the entrance.

Another upcoming deadline is the voter registration cutoff date. First time registrants and voters with name or address changes have until 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11 to update their registration. Our office will be open until 9 p.m. on that date for voters to come in and fill out registration forms. An easy option for making sure your registration is up to date is checking your registration on our website at www.boe.ohio.gov/miami/candidate-voter-tools/. On this site you can find your voter record, see an example of your ballot, find your polling location, track your absentee ballot, and more. Voters can also use the Secretary of State’s online voter registration website www.voteohio.gov to register or update their registration.

Many community offices also offer voter registration at their facilities. Many voters utilize the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, but voters can also find voter registration forms at the local public library, public high schools, Job and Family Services, and the Department of Developmental Disabilities.

I encourage all voters to check out the Board of Elections website. We have many tools available to assist voters in finding valuable information. As always, we are also happy to answer questions of voters who call or email us. We can be reached at 937-440-3900 or [email protected].

The writer, Laura Bruns, is the director of the Miami County Board of Elections. Bruns can be reached at [email protected].

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