By Samantha Smith
With the primary election approaching on March 17, knowing where to go and what to do when voting is important. The Mahoning County Board of Elections aims to make the process easier for those who want to vote.
Tom McCabe, deputy director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections, said much work goes into making sure everything is ready for the primary and general elections.
“Any aspect of the elections from registering the voters, to preparing ballots, to preparing the machines on election day, to maintaining all those listed roles and make sure they are accurate,” he said. “Then twice a year our election day and making sure all the staff is hired.”
The board hires about 1,000 people for each election, according to McCabe.
For anyone who would like to participate in the primary and be a poll worker, the Mahoning County Board of Elections has an online application and a printable PDF on its website.
To become a poll worker, the requirements include being registered to vote in Mahoning County, attending a training session and having reliable transportation.
One of the classes for workers includes the DS200 worker class, which is taught by local option coordinator Dante Lewis. He informs attendees on how to set up the DS200, which is a machine voters use to turn in their ballot, and what to look for if there are any problems.
“We are basically covering throughout this class how to open this machine,” Lewis said. “Just some technical issues that could come up with it during the day and the process of closing the machine and getting the contents to where they need to be at the end of the night.”
He said the contents from the machine include the paper ballots, memory sticks and totals tape, which is the printed copy of the results from the presync from the machines.
This is not the only class taught to new workers for election day.
Naseeb Kaleel, election official and field representative at the Mahoning County Board of Elections, said workers are shown what it looks like on election day to prepare them.
“We have a mock trial of right after when people come in, they check in to vote,” Kaleel said. “You will be greeted by a [election] judge, who will remove the Democratic or the Republican ballots or Libertarian ballots, and they’ll hand you the stub.”
The Mahoning County Board of Elections allows those who are registered with a regular or absentee ballot to vote on election day. In Ohio, early voting started Feb. 19 and ends March 16.