Mock elections offer peek at new equipment

By Drew Stambaugh -

The Fulton County Board of Elections is offering county residents a look at voting equipment purchased this year.

“We are running the mock elections to invite the public to come and see the new voting equipment ahead of the November election,” said Melanie Gilders, Fulton County Board of Elections director. “We want to give people the chance to become familiar with the new equipment and the new process.”

While there are many similarities to the previous voting system, voters will notice a change.

“The main difference of the new system is that at the end of marking the ballot, voters will print their ballot and cast their vote through a precinct scanner,” said Gilders. “The previous system recorded their vote as soon as the cast ballot button was pressed. This new system gives voters a physical ballot they can hold in their hand, review, and then cast. Each ballot cast will then be stored for auditing and recount purposes.”

Voters will still electronically mark the ballot and have a chance to review their choices.

“The system is very easy to use, and offers updated technology and security features that continue to enhance and strengthen the elections system,” Gilders said.

Some Fulton County residents have already had the opportunity to use the new voting equipment. Swanton area voters used it during the May election.

“As with any new system, there are new processes to learn and implement,” Gilders said. “We had a very successful election in May, and will take that experience and continue to streamline the processes for the voters of Fulton County.”

The mock election will be held in the Board of Elections office through Aug. 7. Voters can visit the office at 135 Courthouse Plaza in Wauseon, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The board will then take the mock election on the road. On Aug. 13, the equipment will be at the Lyons Fire Hall, 409 W. Morenci St., from 9:30-11:30 a.m., and at the Delta Public Library, 402 Main St., from 1-3 p.m. On Aug. 15, it will be at Archbold Community Library, 205 Stryker St., from 10 a.m. – noon, and at Normal Memorial Library, 301 Eagle St., Fayette, from 2-4 p.m.

“We would love to have Fulton County voters have a hands-on experience to learn about the new equipment prior to the November election,” Gilders said. “This would also be a great opportunity to introduce the voting process to teens and younger children who are the future voters of Fulton County.”

By Drew Stambaugh

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010