Strong Belmont election turnout expected

ST. CLAIRSVILLE Belmont County Election Board Director Bill Shubat is expecting a sizable turnout come the Nov. 6 election.

“I’m expecting between 20,000-25,000 voters, about half the registered total,” Shubat said. “Last time we had around 30-35 percent.”

Election board members and workers at the office have been busy. Their workload is only certain to increase between today until well after election day.

Shubat also noted that as of Monday, his office had received more than 6,000 absentee ballot applications.

It’s not quite the total of more than 14,000 from 2008. But with time remaining to file an application, that number is sure to grow closer to the 2008 mark.

Further complicating matters is thanks to a change in the ballot language for Issue 2, the database had to be completely redone.

The ballots will be three pages in length; front and back on the first sheet while making use of the front on the second. Issue 2 will take up the entirety of the back half of the first sheet.

Shells that go with the 18-inch ballots had to be ordered in increased number, at a cost of between $18,000-$20,000. Election day ballots themselves will likely total nearly $30,000.

The board is waiting for their funding to be delivered by the Belmont County Commissioners.

“We have notified the commissioners of the additional expense because of Issue 2,” Shubat said. “They money is there. We just have to wait to receive it.

“We’ve kept them abreast of the situation.”

Shubat also spoke briefly on a directive the office received from Columbus, touching on both building security and safety. Shubat stated the building needs, at minimum, two smoke alarms. It currently has fire extinguishers, along with a dry chemical suppression system and a wet system.

The deadline for voter registration is Tuesday, Oct. 9 by 9 p.m.

Five precincts are in need of a Republican poll worker: precincts 7, 9, 57, 83 and 87. Shubat did state that there is an individual ready to be in place for precinct 87.

Shubat stated the commissioners did give the election board two trucks to be utilized during election day. One additional U-Haul-style truck will need to be rented.

Shubat explained the optical scanners are in and ready to go. Two or three had to be sent away for repairs but those are back and in working order.

The next meeting of the board of elections will take place at 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22.

Hughes may be reached at