Montgomery County elections board urges voters to click correct spot on touchscreen

Verify your choices before submitting ballot

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The Montgomery County Board of Elections posted new signs showing voters where to touch electronic ballots to make sure their vote is recorded when they vote early in-person or on Election Day on touchscreen voting machines.

The signs tell voters to press in the center of the large box with the name of the candidate or issue rather than pressing the small check box on the left side, said Sarah Greathouse, board deputy director.

“The small ‘checkbox’ is just a graphic that happens to be near the edge of the larger box,” Greathouse said.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

She said the state requires the small checkbox on the touchscreen to make the electronic ballot look more like a paper ballot. The board heard third-hand that one person had difficulty recording their vote when they just touched the small box on the edge. The person did not alert elections officials to any problem but told someone else and word got back to the board, Greathouse said.

After hearing of the possible issue the board posted the new signs in the voting center and on its Facebook site. The signs also will be at polling places on Election Day, which is Nov. 8.

“It really isn’t much of an issue at all. We have one confirmed case of a voter actually experiencing this issue on the touchscreen, but as far as we have been able to verify, their ballot was printed correctly reflecting their choices,” Greathouse said.

Credit: contributed

Credit: contributed

The board received no complaints about any problem with the checkbox on the touchscreen during the last three elections since the touchscreen appearance was revised to look as it currently does, she said. The state also has had no complaints about it, said Rob Nichols, spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

Voters have multiple ways to ensure their choices register on electronic voting machines. When they touch the large box it changes color to indicate the vote is recorded, said Greathouse. Once the voter has made all choices there are multiple screens that pop up for voters to review to make sure their choices were accurately recorded.

“And, of course, every voter should always review the ballot once it is printed and ejected from the touchscreen (machine) prior to putting it in the scanner,” Greathouse said.

After every election county boards do an audit comparing the paper ballots to the electronic returns. Greathouse said that with every ballot audited “the system has been proven to accurately reflect voters’ ballots.”

Voters who do not want to use the electronic voting machines can request paper ballots at the early voting center or at their polling place.

Greathouse said voters should ask staff in the voting room if they need help.

“Voting in Montgomery County is secure, accurate, fair and efficient. We are so pleased that so many voters have already come out to take advantage of Ohio’s easy and convenient early voting hours,” Greathouse said. “As with all things, if a voter has any questions about anything, we encourage them to call the board of elections first as the best source for accurate voting information.”

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