In downtown Ravenna, one large building houses several Portage County administrative offices, including the board of elections.
Last week, I had a chance to speak with BOE deputy director Brad Cromes about the upcoming November ballot. There are several interesting races to pay attention to, and currently, the board of elections is in the process of both proofing their ballots and testing their voting machines.
Portage County uses AccuVote-TSX voting machines, and despite the negative stigma that sometimes surrounds electronic voting, Cromes tells me the machines are both extremely reliable and accurate.
This is also a midterm election year, so voter turnout is expected to be low. Cromes tells me there has not yet been an uptick in voter registration, but does say it is early, and that the deadline for Portage County residents to register to vote is October 6.
However, an interesting story may also be the structure of the BOE itself. It is made up of 50 percent Republicans, and 50 percent Democrats, with the offices of director, deputy director, and chairman all decided by who is in the Governor’s office. I am told this is done to maintain a bipartisan environment, as both sides are determined to make sure the elections are conducted with integrity and responsibility.