BOE is prepping for election
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont County Board of Elections continues to prepare for the upcoming Nov. 5 election at its new location in a building formerly occupied by The Health Plan and for state-mandated security upgrades.
In late September, board members Michael Shaheen, Frankie Lee Carnes, Robert W. Quirk and Lois J. Doneson, Director Kelly A. McCabe and Deputy Director Aaron S. Moore selected a bidder to do the work. Digital Data Communications will begin shortly after the Nov. 5 election. Digital Data bid $48,728.96. The other bidders were Cyber Defenses, which bid $67,684, and OME-RESA, which bid $43,620.59.
“We have to comply with the security directive,” McCabe said.
While much of the upgrade process remains confidential, she said the board was satisfied with the proposal from Digital Data.
“The board felt they had what we needed. They were able to do what we need,” she said.
According to the state directive, the board must have the updates complete by Jan. 20.
“We’re going to probably start in early December,” McCabe said. “We’re trying to time it so we clean up one election and we’re still going to be in the middle of the next, but it’s the best amount of time we can do. … It will comply with what we have been told we need to comply with at this time.”
A state grant of $50,000 is paying for the upgrades.
Absentee voting has begun, with participants casting ballots at the new board of elections headquarters.
“It’s time for in-person voting,” McCabe said.
Early in-person voting is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the board of elections location, 52180 National Road East, St Clairsville.
Voting will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 2, then 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 3 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 4.
Polling places will be open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 5.
McCabe said absentee votes are coming in at a normal pace. So far, 103 people have voted in the office and 47 took their ballot with them; 788 people have requested their ballot via the mail.
In terms of poll workers, the board is still looking for more people.
“We still need extra poll workers, and we start training this week and next week. We do need extras by (Oct. 25),” she said. Both Republican and Democrat workers are needed in case some of the current poll workers call off. “We have all of our spots filled…We don’t have any extras.”
McCabe said the board must have one person from each party in each precinct.
“We have 70 precincts,” she said.
Poll workers are paid $258 for the day. They must attend a three-hour class. The board is also offering an additional $25 for poll workers who take an extra class focusing on electronic poll books.
“Some of them will have electronic poll books in their locations. Not all locations. There’s extra training for those this time be because it’s a new poll book,” McCabe said.
The electronic poll books will be used at larger, multi-precinct stations.
The next board meeting is set for noon Nov. 25 to certify the election, followed by the regular meeting at 4 p.m.