Montgomery County to cut number of polling places from 360 to 220

Consolidation would save money, make average precinct size about 1,000 voters

The move could change voting locations and will result in more people being eligible to vote at each precinct, Harsman said. It will save the county up to $100,000 during major elections and save other jurisdictions and the board money during off-year elections when costs are billed to those with ballot issues.

“This is by far the largest precinct redistribution we’ve ever done,” said Harsman.

The number of precincts would shrink to 360 from 548. Harsman said the average number of voters in a precinct will rise to 1,000 from the current 700. State law limits the number to 1,400.

Some polling places include more than one precinct, so Harsman expects the total number of polling places to decline from about 360 to 220. Additional lines and poll workers will be added at busier precincts when necessary.

“We don’t anticipate the precinct merges to create any longer lines than we had,” Harsman said.

Harsman, a Democrat, drew up the new precinct proposal with Deputy Director Betty Smith, a Republican, and with input from the four-member bipartisan board.

Registered voters will be notified prior to the May primary and again before the November general election, and signs will be posted on former polling places, Harsman said.

Fewer polls will mean the county has to hire fewer poll workers, use fewer electronic voting machines, and spend less on materials.

It also means the county will have machines in reserve to replace those that break, which could eliminate the need for a hardware and software maintenance contract, Harsman said.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7455 or lhulsey@Dayton DailyNews.com.

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