Greene County upgrading early voting for 2022 election cycle

Two elderly seasonal poll workers with the Greene County Board of Elections test rows of voting machines in preparation for early voting.

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Seasonal workers with the Greene County Board of Elections test rows of voting machines in preparation for early voting. LONDON BISHOP/STAFF

XENIA — The Greene County Board of Elections is making upgrades to its early voting system for both the primary and general elections this year, aiming to reduce wait times and other issues voters experienced in the last two years.

The Board of Elections will make roughly $300,000 worth of renovations to its facility at 551 Ledbetter Road, between the primary election and the general election this November, adding additional check-in stations and dedicated space for voting machine testing, streamlining the board of elections’ office space, and moving early voting to the county’s current media room. The added space will allow county elections to nearly double the number of voting stations from 17 to 30, and bring up the number of work stations from four to 10.

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The board is currently using County Room 1 for early voting, and will transition to the media room for the general election in November. In November 2020, voters had to wait outside in long lines to cast their ballots early.

“The current early voting space is small and can only fit four work stations to check people in. Because of this, lines backed up in 2020,” said elections director Alisha Beeler. “Our commissioners realize that elections are integral to American life, and by investing and creating space that will be conducive to elections, they are investing in their community while also giving confidence to the voter. By transferring early voting over to the media room, we will also be able to increase the number of voting machines we use for early voting, allowing for faster-moving lines.”

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Early voting lines at the Greene County Board of Elections Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

Early voting lines at the Greene County Board of Elections Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

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Early voting lines at the Greene County Board of Elections Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

Greene County has brought on additional seasonal poll workers for the primary election, but needs about 100 more to have all the check-in stations ready by election day.

“With the condensed timeline, our office of eight is stretched tightly, and the additional people helping doing logistics and accuracy testing have been a tremendous help in ensuring we are primary-ready,” Beeler said. “It has been difficult to get people to sign on, and we are hearing the same from other directors and deputy directors in the state.”

Voters can cast their primary ballot early in Greene County at the Board of Elections office at 551 Ledbetter Road, Xenia. Voters must bring an approved form of ID, indicate whether they are voting Republican, Democrat, or local issues only, and cast their ballot. Voters can also request a paper ballot if they so desire, instead of voting electronically.

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“Our team is ready to check everyone in. The process is quick and easy,” Beeler said. “I hope that everyone will get out and make their voices heard by voting.”

In January, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office met with the board to establish better procedures for proofing, voting machine testing and candidate certification.

Greene County is currently planning on an expansion to their Ledbetter Road property to replace the media room to the tune of approximately $1.5 million, per discussion in a recent work session.


Early voting

What: In-person absentee voting starts today for the May 3 election.

Where: That voting is only done at county board of elections offices.

When: This week and the two following weeks, early voting is weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Days and hours expand starting April 25.

ID needed: Voters need an unexpired drivers license or state ID card or mail such as a utility bill, paycheck, government check or bank statement showing your current address.

More: For information on requesting an absentee ballot by mail and other election questions, click this link.

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