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Elections board eyes security cameras for office

LISBON — The Columbiana County Board of Elections is looking into adding security cameras and tightening up security on election night.

Board member Vic Maroscher brought up the idea at last week’smeeting, saying he believes the time has arrived for them to put some security cameras in the office and basement to protect staff and the public.

“It’s good to have if someone comes in an accuses us of something,” he said.

The board thought it was a good idea, and Maroscher agreed to take the lead in seeking three quotes since he has some experience after having purchased security cameras for his business. He does not expect the cost to exceed $3,500, and the money will come from what is left over from state funding given the county to make security upgrades to its voting system.

Maroscher said they should also investigate developing a policy to control the number of people who seem to roam about the office on election night. While the general public is confined to the lobby, the news media has a section to itself accessible through a side door Staff go through the same side door to bring in election results as they are delivered by poll workers, but others with no direct business also enter freely through the same door and, unlike the news media, sometimes do not remain behind the counter.

In other action, the board voted to change polling places in Liverpool and Perry townships, with the changes affective with the March 17 primary election.

Voters in the Liverpool Township Northwest precinct had been voting at the Lacroft Fire Station. They will now vote about 200 yards away at the new township administration building. Elections board director Kim Fusco said the advantage is the new township hall is handicapped accessible.

Residents in the Perry Township Southeast precinct had been voting for years in the township garage. The new location is McKinney’s Furniture, which has agreed to serve as a polling place.

Fusco said they checked into using the Church at the Center, where the pastor is state Rep. Tim Ginter. The county prosecutor’s office advised them to find another location because of the potential conflict of interest.

She and deputy director Bryce Miner also updated the board on efforts to find backup poll workers. Fusco said they will not only call the Kent State University branch campuses in East Liverpool and Salem to find potential poll workers among students, but she also intends to contact some county government agencies. County commissioners adopted a resolution two years ago allowing county workers to serve as poll workers without having to use a personal day or sick time.

Officials are concerned because the March 17 primary election is nearly two months earlier than usual because the 2020 is a presidential year. Fusco fears there may be a shortage because a significant number of their poll workers are retirees who will still be Florida for the winter, and others will likely be on vacation in the Sunshine State then as well.

Miner said while at the winter conference he crossed paths with election officials from other counties, and they are addressing poll worker shortages by checking school boards for newly retired teachers and contacting local churches.

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