The Wayne County Board of Elections has set up a new voting machine at the Wayne County Fair to show voters how the machines work. Visitors to the booths can also test the machines in a mock election of fair favorites.
(TNS) — A vote for favorite fair foods or fair entertainment doesn't quite hold the same importance as voting for the next President of the United States of America, but it will give voters a better idea of what they'll see at their polling station this November.
The Wayne County, Ohio, Board of Elections has set up a new voting machine, one each in the Democrat and Republican booths, at the Wayne County Fair to show voters how the machines work. Visitors to the booths can also test the machines in a mock election of fair favorites.
"I love it. It's so easy," said Meg Wilkins of Kidron, Ohio, who stopped by the Republican booth to cast her mock vote.
The mock ballot asks fair voters of all ages their favorite fair treats, food, type of entertainment and place to visit at the fairgrounds. Voters can also type in a write-in option using an alphabetical keyboard on the screen. After they cast their ballots, voters receive an I Love Voting sticker.
"It's so much easier. Very touch-sensitive," said Lisa Woodruff, an elections specialist for the Wayne County BOE, who helped voters in the Republican booth.
Arriving at the polling station and checking in will occur as normal when Wayne County voters head to the polls in November. They will notice the new machines set up on tables with privacy dividers separating each piece of equipment instead of the large, individual voting machines used in the past.
Voters will place their programmed cards into the bottom of the machine and start casting their ballot. The touchscreen machines have several options to make reading easier, including changeable text size and color scheme (color, black text on a white background or white text on a black background). They also have an audio option for the visually impaired.
"One hundred percent of the machines are ADA compliant," said Rich Corfman, deputy director of the Wayne County BOE, who was stationed in the Democrat booth.
Before casting their ballot, voters can see their choices on the voter-verified paper audit trail, which appears on a second machine placed next to the voting machine. If they agree with what's printed, they can either accept the ballot or reject the ballot and go back to make sure they click their desired choice.
"I like it better. It's more toward the modern age of technology," said Andrea Wright of Baughman Township, casting her mock ballot in the Democrats' booth. "I felt it was easier to use."
In April, the county signed a 10-year contract with Dominion Voting Systems for the new equipment, locking in software licensing fees and ensuring the company will replace any equipment or ship new pieces over the length of the agreement.
Demonstrations will continue throughout fair week. Votes can be cast Monday from 10 a.m to 12 p.m., 2-4 p.m., and 6-8 p.m.; and on Wednesday and Thursday from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
The Democrat and Republican booths were full of candidates for the 2019 and 2020 elections on Sunday afternoon under the Grandstand. More than 130 people are running for public office, from city and village mayors and councils, township trustees and fiscal officers to school boards and boards of public affairs.
In the Republican booth, Wooster Mayor Bob Breneman was greeting voters alongside State Rep. Scott Wiggam, Wayne County Commissioner Ron Amstutz, Wayne County Auditor Jarra Underwood, Wayne County Recorder Jane Carmichael and Rittman Mayor William Robertson.
"In a contested race, I try to get down here [to the booth] every day," said Breneman, who is running against Democratic candidate Nell Reardon to retain his seat. It's one of four contested races in the city of Wooster this election.
Reardon, who was enjoying an ice cream cone in the Democrats' booth, was excited to hear from people interested in the election. She was joined in the booth by fellow Wooster candidates Oliver Warren, running for a council at-large seat, and Mark Cavin, who is seeking to retain his council seat for Ward 1.
"It seems people are more interested in policy than party," Reardon said. "The system doesn't work unless people have viable choices. I want to support a healthy process."
©2019 The Daily Record, Wooster, Ohio. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.