The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 31, 2013

Election board tweaks N. Kingsville precincts

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Ashtabula County’s Board of Elections, at Wednesday’s meeting, fine-tuned its consolidation of North Kingsville precincts approved earlier this month.

Earlier this month, the board blended its precincts, eliminating 23 of the original 127. Among those impacted were precincts 2, 3 and 4 in North Kingsville. After the board’s action, election officials decided some changes would improve efficiency and convenience even more.

On Wednesday morning, the board undid the previous consolidation of precincts 3 and 4, deciding instead to merge precincts 2 and 4 in the village, which are contiguous. “Until we looked at a map, nobody noticed,” said Carol Lovas, director.

The revamped precinct will contain 1,067 eligible voters, Lovas said. The polling place remains the Living Water church.

In other business, the board agreed to relocate three Ashtabula precincts to another location just two blocks away. Voters in precincts 3A, 3B and 4A will now cast ballots at G.O. Ministries on Station Avenue. Previously, the polling place had been Lakeview Towers. Accessibility issues prompted the switch, members were told. Affected voters in Ashtabula and North Kingsville will be notified via mail of the changes, members were told.

Elsewhere, the board put on hold a decision to purchase special bags to help poll workers transport ballots on Election Day. The bags now in use, which resemble oversized tote bags, are just to heavy for many workers to hoist which crammed with ballots, Lovas said. She suggested a special bag for each of the county’s 104 districts that resembles a small, fabric-sided cart. The bag has four wheels, so it can be rolled, and a telescoping handle.

Board members understood the need for a less cumbersome ballot bag, but were leery of the estimated $100-per-bag price tag without knowing other capital expenditures that may lie ahead in 2013. A little more shopping may turn up a comparable product at a better price, members said.