On Wednesday, Oct. 2, the Highland County Board of Elections held an open house so Highland County residents could get a look at the new voting machines before the Nov. 5 general election.
Highland County Board of Elections office clerk Casey Clark and poll worker Ryan Starks told The Times-Gazette that the county is switching back to paper ballots.
For the paper ballots, voters must completely fill in the bubble beside their choice, including the bubble beside the option for write-in candidates. Voters then submit their ballots into a ClearCast machine, which digitally scans and records each ballot.
For those with visual or hearing impairments, polling centers will also have a ClearAccess machine, Clark said, which allows the voter to select their choices via touchscreen or braille touchpad. The ClearAccess also allows voters to wear headphones, so they can listen to a recording that includes candidates, issues and voting instructions. After a voter has selected and confirmed their choices, the ClearAccess prints off a paper ballot with their selections filled in. This ballot is then inserted into the ClearCast and tallied with the other ballots. Clark told The Times-Gazette that in order to use the ClearAccess machine, voters need a code and a QR code for their voting precinct, both of which will be supplied by a poll worker on Election Day.
Clark said voters will receive information about where they should vote in the mail. Polls will be open on Nov. 5 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
In order to vote, voters need to be registered to vote and must provide a valid form of identification at their polling site. Acceptable forms of identification include an unexpired driver’s license or state I.D., a bank statement, a utility bill, a paycheck or any government-issued document that shows your current address. Voters who don’t have or are unable to provide an acceptable form of identification or didn’t update their voter information before the deadline may also cast a provisional ballot, the Highland County Board of Elections said. However, if a voter casts a provisional ballot and doesn’t provide identification, the Ohio Secretary of State says that that voter must prove their voting eligibility within seven days after Election Day by providing their local board of elections any of the above acceptable forms of identification or their Social Security number. Those who vote provisionally and do provide identification typically don’t have to reverify, according to the Ohio Secretary of State. However, check with a poll official.
The deadline to register to vote for the November 2019 general election is Monday, Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. Voters can register or update their voter information in person at the Highland County Board of Elections office at 1575 N. High St. in Hillsboro or online at sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/register. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 2, though absentee ballots may be sent in at anytime.
For more information about voting absentee or voting early, go to sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/absentee-voting.
For more information, contact the Highland County Board of Elections at 937-393-9961 or see a poll worker on election day.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.