Why you’ll see fewer poll workers for Tuesday’s election in Butler County

Voters will notice fewer precinct workers at the polls Tuesday, but the Butler County Board of Elections doesn’t anticipate longer lines.

BOE Director Diane Noonan said 152 fewer workers will be manning the polls for the general election, a $30,400 budget savings. She said the county has 88 polling locations and 1,075 poll workers with 164 workers on stand-by. The use of electronic poll books to check in voters prompted the state to lessen the number of required workers.

Board Member Todd Hall said he has been asking the state for years to loosen mandates.

“I asked the state three years in a row, ‘Why are we sending people to locations we don’t need them at?’” Hall told the commissioners. “Fortunately state bill 22 let the burden come on us now and we know the numbers by how many people vote at each (precinct). A common sense reduction is what it was.”

RELATED: Butler County using new voting machines for current election: What to know

Deputy Director Eric Corbin said locations with only a few precincts will still have the required four poll workers but other locations will have fewer, depending on the number of voters who usually show up to vote.

“At our locations that have one, two, three precincts we didn’t reduce any of those because you kind of need a certain base number of people that cover lunches and make sure we have all the stations,” Corbin said. “The best example is Edgewood, that’s our largest location, I think we have nine precincts there so we ended up having 36 workers. That’s a lot of people.”

Poll worker counts will not be reduced for the presidential election next year.

The county purchased electronic poll books in time for the November 2017 election. The price was $524,900 for the new technology, and the state picked up $394,465 of the tab. Poll workers search for a voter’s name on the iPad and sign them in, instead of thumbing through paper binders, a much quicker process.

Noonan said officials are not expecting long lines because of the staff reduction because of the poll books plus an anticipated low turnout. Early voting began Oct. 8.

“There’s only going to be 25 percent of people showing up,” Noonan said. “We’ve had such a low turnout.”

Butler County voters will be deciding local elected official races and three tax levies. Only the Trenton road levy asks for new money.

MORE: Butler County renegotiates a lower deal for new voting machine system

Those who do show up on election day will be using new voting machines. The commissioners bought a $7.5 million voting machine system in May, but the bulk of it was state-paid.


You can still vote early today in Ohio. Here are the ways you can cast a ballot in Butler and Warren county:

In-person voting: Visit your county Board of Elections 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.

Absentee voting (also known as vote-by-mail): If you requested a vote-by-mail ballot, it must be postmarked by today and received by the elections office within 10 days after Election Day. You can return your ballot in person at the Board of Elections office by the end of voting on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Board of elections:Butler County Board of Elections is at 1802 Princeton Road, Suite 600, Hamilton and can be reached at 513-887-3700. Warren County Board of Elections is at 520 Justice Drive, Lebanon and can be reached at 513-695-1358.

Learn about the candidates and issues: Check out the Journal-News/Cox Media Group Ohio voter guide at Journal-News.com/voterguide.

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