BOE ‘pleased’ with runoff election

Published 12:23 am Sunday, November 22, 2015

Seeking voter comments

For the first runoff election the current Lawrence County Board of Elections conducted, it went off without much of the proverbial hitch, officials say.

“We are pleased that we handled the turnout with no significant lines at any time,” Mark McCown, board member, said. “We had the locations well-staffed. Both candidates complimented us on the location and the process.”

Now the board wants feedback from the voters.

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This past Tuesday Katrina Keith squared off with Bob Cleary in the first runoff election for Ironton mayor since 1980.

According to the city charter, if no candidate in the mayoral race gets 40 percent of the vote there is a runoff between the top two vote getters. That must happen two weeks after the general election

Because of time constraints between the charter requirement on the date and the Ohio Revised Code-dictated time for the certification, the board said there could not be any absentees with three exceptions. Those were for military and overseas citizens, nursing home residents and anyone with a medical emergency the day of the election.

“Certainly there were people who were genuinely frustrated as was the board,” McCown said. “But they understood why.”

Unlike in primary and general elections where there are seven polling locations, the city’s 25 precincts were set up in only two locations — the city center and the VFW Post 8850. At each site there were eight checkout stations, 15 voting booths and three machines for ballots.

“We have had voters suggest to us that they like having multiple precincts in one location,” McCown said. “They got to see people they hadn’t seen for a while. They voted quickly and had easy access.”

Now the board will consider reducing the number of polling sites for upcoming elections.

“Even with mechanical issues like we do at every single election, the way we staffed it with extra machines, we were able to overcome them,” he said.

Comments can be phoned into election director Cathy Overbeck or Toni Trosper, deputy director at 740-532-0444.