ST. CLAIRSVILLE -- Martins Ferry voters received good news at Tuesday afternoon's Belmont County Board of Elections meeting.
Residents of the Purple City who wanted to cast their ballots in person in last November's general election had to travel to Colerain to do so. Such travel will be a thing of the past in later this year.
Martins Ferry voters will again be jettisoned to Colerain in the upcoming May primary. After that, however, they will be able stay within city limits to do their balloting.
The election board and the Martins Ferry School District have come to agreement to use the Ayers Elementary School gymnasium for the city's polling site. While the final accord hasn't been totally etched in stone, the election board is looking for a 10-year voting relationship with the Ferry school district, commencing this November.
Ayers Elementary School meets all of the myriad of requirements for a polling center. It is handicapped accessible and has ample parking. The poll workers will park behind the school, leaving at least 50 parking spots available for voters in front of the school.
On election days, Martins Ferry schools will utilize in-service days which will yield less congestion and enhanced safety.
IN REGARDS to the May primary, poll workers are still needed. Anyone interested should contact Election Board Director Bill Shubat at 526-0188.
Shubat noted that 9,000 ballots have been ordered for the primary and noted that all election issues have been proofed and returned from Columbus after state inspection. Eight issues are on the Belmont County ballot, with two overlapping with Jefferson County.
The issues are Bellaire School levy, Pease Township levy, Shadyside aggregate, Bethesda Village Fire levy, Southeastern Ohio Regional Transit Authority, Union Local School District income tax, Jefferson County JVS (overlap) and Yorkville Electric aggregate (overlap).
The board also certified all candidate petitions.
The election board will hold its reorganizational meeting on Monday, March 3 with its next regular meeting being Monday, March 17 at 4 p.m.
Board members will be attending a regional meeting in Zanesville on March 6.
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