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Board of Elections makes IT hire

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — After a special meeting Wednesday, the Belmont County Board of Elections interviewed and hired Austin Hopkins, a resident of Washington County, Ohio, who plans to move to Belmont County.

He will take on the information technology duties currently handled by Deputy Director Aaron Moore.

“They filled a position. Our deputy director previously held that position, but he moved into the deputy director’s spot and that position was never filled, but it’s been filled now,” Director Kelly McCabe said afterward.

McCabe said the full-time position pays $21 per hour. Hopkins will start work June 7.

Moore had taken on both roles for about two years.

“He’ll be able to concentrate on his deputy director responsibilities,” McCabe said.

“It’s been vacant for a little while. It’s too much for one person to handle, the deputy director’s position and the IT. We’ve been looking, you just have to find the right person that knows the election management system software and those people aren’t easy to come by. He’s already trained in the software and knows about programming the ballots, taking care of the equipment, all of those duties,” McCabe said.

“We have electronic poll books. We have a registration system. He’ll be learning all that, but he already knows a portion of the software that we use,” McCabe said. “He’s familiar with our equipment and software. That’s huge.”

No other candidate applied.

This comes after a hectic 2020, with a primary election delayed, then shifted entirely to voting by mail, followed by a general election where voting by mail was preferred among the majority of residents.

“It was a very busy year, with not only a presidential (election) but a pandemic, but we managed,” McCabe said.

The board will meet at 10:30 a.m. Monday to conduct the official count following the May 4 primary election.

The count will be certified at 4 p.m. followed by a regular board meeting.

The board headquarters is 52180 National Road, St. Clairsville.

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