Mostly glitch-free election day, officials report (OH)
Dayton Daily News. November 3, 2009. By Meredith Moss, Lou Grieco, Katherine Ullmer and Jim DeBrosse
With the polls closing at 7:30 p.m., most county election officials said they experienced a nearly glitch-free election day with a typically low odd-year turnout on Nov. 3, 2009 as they began tallying the results.
The Dayton Daily News will be posting early results in the coming hours.
Steve Harsman, director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, predicted a 38 percent voter turnout after checking precincts around 5 p.m. He said the voting progressed with “just a few minor problems, all immediately resolved.”
“I was expecting a little more (voter turnout) because of the state issues and the library and parks levies locally as well as the contested mayor’s race” in Dayton, he said. Off-year elections average about a 32 percent turnout, he said.
An encoder used to activate the machine at Dayton 1C, located in the Wilkinson Plaza building at 126 W. Fifth St., didn’t work so they used paper ballots until they got a new encoder installed, Harsman said. “No voters were turned away,” he said.
Compared to other years, Harsman saw a spike in early in-person voting before the election as well as in absentee participation.
“We sent out 17,000 ballots and have received back close to 13,500,” he added.
In Miami County, voter turnout was around 35 percent — “about average” for an odd-year election, said Steve Quillen, director of the Miami County Board of Elections. Quillen said he had distributed a combination of 3,500 early voting and absentee ballots.
There were no voting problems in Miami County, other than some sporadic paper jams that were quickly resolved, he said.
In Greene County, voter turnout was somewhere between 33 percent and 38 percent, said Tracy Smith, director of the Greene County Board of Elections. “In some jurisdications, it was a little above average,” he said.
Llyn McCoy, Greene County Board of Elections deputy director, said they had minor calibration issues with voting machines this morning at a couple of polling places. The machines ran slow when a person touched it, but once the machines were calibrated correctly they worked better, she said.
Earlier in the day, Warren County Board of Elections Director Keir Holeman said turnout percentages in the county ranged from a low of 7.8 percent in a South Lebanon precinct to 16 percent and 20 percent at precincts in Springboro and Waynesville.
Holeman said 7,354 absentee ballots were requested and 6,370 have been filed. There are 142,617 registered voters in the county.
Today voters picked new city and village councilman, township trustees, decided two county-wide tax levies and a host of individual tax questions.
For many young people, today marked an important milestone – their first election as voters.
That was the case for Qasim Rizvi who used his break between classes at the University of Dayton to head out to Polk Grove Church to cast his vote.
The 18-year-old Butler Twp. resident spent part of the weekend researching the issues. He previously volunteered for both the Kerry and Obama campaigns.
“Voting in my first election today was an interesting experience. It made me finally feel like an adult,” he said. “I feel like it was my duty as a citizen of the United States to exercise my right to vote and have a say in this election. Even though my first election didn’t come during a presidential election year, I still felt like I should make a difference in the outcomes of this election. Voting makes me proud to be a citizen of the United States of America.” he said.