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The Belmont County Board of Elections ready for Election Day

T-L Photo/CARRI GRAHAM Jay Sell, aggregation specialist for Aspen Energy, speaks to Bridgeport Village Council on Tuesday evening about the company’s electric aggregation program. Residents will have the option to lock in an electricity rate of 0.0586 cents per kilowatt hour beginning March 2022.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont County Board of Elections is putting the final touches on preparations for Election Day on Nov. 2.

In the final meeting prior to the election, board members gathered Tuesday in its expansive storeroom filled with equipment for poll workers as well as sanitizing tools and protective gear to safeguard against COVID-19 infection.

Director Aaron Moore said more than 1,700 voters have cast early ballots early so far.

“It’s just been a good, steady pace for early voting,” Moore said. “It’s a good start. Now signs have been popping up. People have been putting signs in their yard. People are sending out mailers. … People are paying attention right now. I imagine within the next week or two, in the last two weeks, we’re going to get a bigger increase.”

He said he hopes for a strong turnout.

“Our odd-year elections tend to be a little lighter than the even years. Even years tend to be state and federal elections. That brings a lot more people out. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to get a good turnout, but we’re definitely not going to get what we did last November during the presidential,” he said.

He commended the staff and workers for their professionalism in conducting the early voting process.

“All the voters that come in have been perfect and fine,” he said. “Our staff has been working very well with them. It’s not like the November election when we had a line around the building.”

Early voting will continue until 2 p.m. Nov. 1, the day before the election.

Moore said the board has sufficient poll workers beyond the minimum of 280, or 140 from either party, needed to operate the election.

“We’re looking close to fill everything we need. There’s always going to be a gap or two. We always want some extra workers for, in case of last-minute call-offs. You never know during COVID times or during flu season,” he said. “We like to be training extra workers to fill in. … We’ve got a bunch of extra workers. Our biggest thing is we’re always looking for partied workers, people who are registered as Democrats or Republicans. … If we can get some more partisans, that would be good to have.”

Moore said there is still time for those interested in being a poll worker to attend training.

“We’re still training for the next two days (until Thursday) but if we see people are calling in, we do in the last week have a makeup class … or two,” he said. “The main class is about three-hour-long training.”

He added the county will have two new voting locations in Wayne and Washington townships next year, at the Wayne Township garage and the Somerton Fire Station in Washington Township.

“We need to give our voters advanced notice if we ever change location,” he said.

In accordance with policy, the board will open its next meeting at 6:15 a.m. Nov. 2 and be in continuous session during Election Day.

After the election, the provisional ballots will be examined on Nov. 15 to determine if they should be counted. The official certification will be Nov. 22.

For more information about being a poll worker, call the board office at 740-526-0188.

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