60K Montgomery County voters to have new polling location for May election

Board of Elections still seeking 700 poll workers

UPDATE, 10:45 p.m. March 23:

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced late Wednesday that he directed the county boards of elections to remove candidates for the Ohio House and Senate from the May 3 ballots.

Read more here: Ohio Secretary of State orders Ohio House, Senate races off May 3 ballots

ORIGINAL STORY:

More than 60,000 voters in Montgomery County will have a new polling location when they go to vote in the May 3 primary election.

Voters affected by a change in precinct and/or polling location should expect to receive a postcard in the mail prior to Election Day notifying them of their new precinct and location, Montgomery County Board of Elections officials said Wednesday.

“If anything in a voter’s record changed, they will be sent this precinct change notice,” said Sarah Greathouse, Montgomery County BOE deputy director. “If their precinct number changes, if their polling location changes, or if their Congressional, state House, or state Senate districts change, they’ll receive this card.”

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Guy Aber, internal services administrator for the Montgomery County Board of Elections, explains the BOE's tabulation process during a media open house Wednesday March 23, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Guy Aber, internal services administrator for the Montgomery County Board of Elections, explains the BOE's tabulation process during a media open house Wednesday March 23, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Guy Aber, internal services administrator for the Montgomery County Board of Elections, explains the BOE's tabulation process during a media open house Wednesday March 23, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

ExploreBoard of Elections approves tentative new precinct map

Currently, Greathouse said the goal is to send out precinct change cards in mid-April, but who exactly will get them will depend on whether or not state House and Senate district contests are included on the May primary ballot. At this time, approximately 60,000 voters will be notified of a polling location change prior to the primary.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission first passed new district maps in September, approving them on a 5-2 party-line vote; but progressive and voting-rights groups immediately sued, and the state Supreme Court has now thrown out three sets of maps as unfairly favoring Republicans.

In a ruling issued last week, the court ordered the commission to draw a fourth set of state legislative maps by March 28, this time with the help of mediators from the U.S. Sixth District Court of Appeals.

At this point, there is a good chance candidates for the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives won’t be on the May ballot because of these legal disputes continuing while election preparation deadlines loom. And it’s possible that Ohio lawmakers could push back the May primary altogether.

ExploreFourth try: Mediators to help Ohio Redistricting Commission as it again draws new maps

The change in polling locations for Montgomery County voters is a result of precinct changes that are due to fluctuations in population numbers, according to Greathouse.

Due to population growth in places like Huber Heights, Washington Twp., and portions of Kettering, along with population loss within precincts in the northern part of Dayton affected by destruction from the 2019 tornado, precinct lines needed to be altered, Greathouse said.

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Sarah Greathouse and Jeff Rezabek, the Montgomery County Board of Elections' deputy director and director, respectively, answer questions from the media during an open house Wednesday, March 23, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Sarah Greathouse and Jeff Rezabek, the Montgomery County Board of Elections' deputy director and director, respectively, answer questions from the media during an open house Wednesday, March 23, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Sarah Greathouse and Jeff Rezabek, the Montgomery County Board of Elections' deputy director and director, respectively, answer questions from the media during an open house Wednesday, March 23, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

“We’re looking for balance. Our goal is to have about 1,000 voters in each precinct so that when we’re putting together polling locations, we know how many voters to expect there,” she said.

The BOE approved the newly-drawn Montgomery County precinct map in December, and through the rebalancing process, the total number of precincts was increased from 360 to 381.

The county has a total of 145 polling locations with an average of about three precincts assigned to each, Greathouse said.

Every polling location is required by Ohio law to have four poll workers for each precinct. Currently, almost 1,000 poll workers are signed up to work the May 3 election, and the BOE is still in need of 700 additional workers, county elections Director Jeff Rezabek said Wednesday.

In Montgomery County, along with poll workers, there is also one location supervisor at each of the 151 polling locations.

“That’s just an extra layer that we use here in Montgomery County because it helps make sure that every location runs smoothly,” Greathouse said. “We’ve got a returning workforce of about 250 people in the Polling Location Supervisor Program, and they always get extra training, so if there’s an issue, our office knows who the point person is at each location.”

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Carolyn Clark, Montgomery County voter services administrator, explains in-person early voting procedures during a media open house Wednesday March 23, 2022, at the Montgomery County Board of Elections Office. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Carolyn Clark, Montgomery County voter services administrator, explains in-person early voting procedures during a media open house Wednesday March 23, 2022, at the Montgomery County Board of Elections Office.  MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Carolyn Clark, Montgomery County voter services administrator, explains in-person early voting procedures during a media open house Wednesday March 23, 2022, at the Montgomery County Board of Elections Office. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF


BY THE NUMBERS

366,000: Number of registered voters in Montgomery County

60,000: Estimated number of those who will have a new polling location May 3

1,600+: Total number of poll workers needed for the election

145: Number of polling locations (many polling locations have more than one precinct)

Source: Montgomery County Board of Elections

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