Voting machines put through paces

PARKERSBURG – The iVotronic voting machine that will be used for early voting beginning this Saturday for the Nov. 23 special levy election was put through a test run Monday.

The only issue on the special election ballot will be renewal of the excess levy for Wood County Schools.

“Paper ballots are being used for this election, but a voting machine will be available for early voting and one will also be available on election day if someone who has a disability needs to use the machine. But everyone else will be receiving a paper ballot,” County Clerk Mark Rhodes told the Wood County commissioners on Monday.

Rhodes presented the commissioners the test vote program that was run through the iVotronic at Monday’s commission meeting.

Early voting is scheduled to begin this Saturday, Nov. 9. Early voting will not be available on Sunday or Monday (Nov. 11) due to Veterans Day.

Early voting will resume Nov. 12-16 and Nov. 18-20 at the regular voting precinct in the Fort Boreman public meeting room of the Judge Black Courthouse Annex, 315 Market St., Parkersburg.

Early voting at the four community satellite voting precincts will be available on Nov. 15, 16, 18, 19 and 20.

Saturday hours for early voting will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Voting at all early vote polling places Monday through Friday will be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The four community vote sites will be at Williamstown City Building, 100 West Fifth St.; Vienna City Building, 609 29th St., Vienna; Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department, 1695 Elizabeth Pike, Mineral Wells, and Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department, 1340 Harris Highway, Lubeck.

During the commission’s Thursday meeting, the county officials will be asked to inspect and lock up the ballot boxes in preparation for the early vote.

“Procedures are a little different because we are using paper ballots,” deputy clerk Melody Ross told commissioners Monday.

All the early voting precincts have parking available and are handicapped accessible.

During previous elections, approximately 20 percent of the total vote count was cast during early voting.

Rhodes said the canvass for the paper ballot election will begin at 9 a.m. Dec. 3 at the courthouse.

“We hope to be done by noon; it shouldn’t take too long,” Rhodes said earlier.

Rhodes earlier estimated election costs will be around $85,000. The county will pay for the upfront election costs with the board of education to reimburse for the expenses of the special Saturday election.

This will be the first election with the fewer number of precincts after the county’s 86 precincts were recently consolidated down to 69.

If approved, the levy would be for five more years, with the total raised annually to be approximately $16,769,716.

The breakdown on the ballot states the funds would be used to continue employment beyond the funding of the State School Aid Formula; reading resource teachers, and school nurses; maintenance of buildings and equipment; improvements to district’s instructional program by the employment and retention of qualified teachers, service and administrative personnel.