18 tax issues on ballot across county today

LISBON – The Columbiana County elections board met Monday to take care of routine business in advance of today’s election.

All 89 polling places in the county open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Depending on where voters live, they will be casting ballot for candidate races in cities, villages and townships, as well as school boards. Voters will also decide the outcome of 25 ballot issues, including 18 tax issues.

At Monday’s meeting, the board rejected two early-voting ballots where the persons voted for more than the required number of candidates. For example, in one race where only two township trustees can be elected, the person voted for three.

The board then approved four early-voting ballots where the person partially filled in an oval next to a candidate’s name, or X’d out an oval, while completely filling in the oval for another candidate to indicate their choice. In these instances, the board must determine voter intent, and the board decided the voter meant to cast their ballot for the candidate with the completely filled in oval next to their name.

“I don’t think people realize the machine will spit that out,” said board member James Beardsley, referring to ballots where voters partially fill in an oval before changing their minds and voting for someone else.

To avoid the problem, board director Adam Booth said people who mess up their ballots can simply ask poll workers for new one.

A total of 1,273 people either voted early at the board office or requested an early-voting ballot be mailed to them, and 1,176 have been returned to date. Booth said those ballots still outstanding will still be counted as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 4 and received in the office within 10 days of the election.

The board then went into recess and will reconvene at 7 p.m. today to address any voting problems that might have occurred.