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Fall Election Promises Big Voter Turnout




Kathy Meyer, director of the Fulton County Board of Elections, said signs are that the Fall 2008 general election will be the biggest ever.

“We’re at the highest registered voter count we’ve ever had,” she said.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 14, there were officially 29,620 registered voters in Fulton County.

That’s above the 28,746 that were registered for the March primary election. Voter registration deadline was Oct. 6.

There’s a stack of papers about three inches high on her desk- they are all voter registration forms that must be entered into the computer system.

Another pile, about a quarter of an inch thick, is a list of names of persons who are registered to vote in one county, then registered again in another county. She must check them all. The bad news- there’s at least four names per sheet.

Meyer said she and Brett Kolb, former board of elections director, predict a voter turnout of at least 80%.

Absentees

Meyer said around 3,000 absentee ballots went out for the fall 2006 gubernatorial vote.

As of Tuesday, the number of absentee ballots requested, or cast in the board office, stood at 3,237.

There were 39 persons who came to the Board of Elections office in Wauseon between Sept. 30 and Oct. 6 who registered to vote, and cast ballots on the same day.

There’s been a change in the law regarding absentee voting this year. In the past, for an absentee ballot to count, it had to be at the board of elections of- fice by Election day.

Now, absentee ballots can still be counted if they are received by the Board of Elections office by Friday, Nov. 14. Meyer said they must be postmarked by Nov. 3. A postage meter cannot be used to apply the postmark.

For an absentee ballot to be counted during the unofficial election night count, Meyer said it must be delivered to the Board of Elections office no later than 7:30 pm on election night.

To ask for a ballot by mail, the written request must be delivered to the Board of Elections office by noon Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Persons wishing to cast ballots early can do so at the Board of Elections office until 4 pm, Monday, Nov. 3.

All polling places are unchanged, Meyer said.

“We worked hard to keep the same polling places,” she said

There are 35 Fulton County precincts and 17 polling places.

Voters in Archbold precincts one, two, and three, plus those in the German Township precinct, vote at the Archbold Knights of Columbus Rebeau Hall.

Pettisville precinct voters cast ballots at the Pettisville Park Pavilion. Franklin Township voters should vote at the Franklin Township Hall.

Dover township voters should report to Tedrow Mennonite Church.

Replacement

The board of elections office encountered a challenge when the commissioners selected Kolb as the new county emergency services director.

That leaves the board office short-handed, and Meyer working extra hours to keep up.

Meyer said last week the Board of Elections is interviewing candidates for the deputy director position, but that person won’t be hired until about a week before the election. There won’t be enough time to train the person.

“They’ll be an extra pair of hands,” she said.

Kolb will be able to help out.

“He’s coming back to set up our machines for the logic and accuracy test. Then, the day of the election, he’ll go out early and help set up, then come back and help me upload results.”- David Pugh


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