IRONTON, Ohio (WOWK) — Out with the old, and in with the new! Lawrence County voters will see brand new electronic voting machines when they head to the polls in November, or participate in early voting at the Lawrence County Courthouse.
“Lawrence County is on the cutting edge of something state wide, nation wide, even world wide,” said JT Holt of the Lawrence County Board of Elections.
Thanks to funding from the State of Ohio, and help from the Lawrence County commissioners, Lawrence county now has 200 state-of-the-art voting machines; making voting easier, faster, and more accessible.
“Each one of the 200 we have are ADA capable and compatible,” said Holt. “We don’t have to have two separate systems for people.”
In total, the machines cost a little over $1,000,000 dollars, with $775,000 dollars coming from state grants and $300,000 dollars from the county. While that may seem like a big chunk of change, Holt says the machines will save the county money over time because it won’t have to purchase the pre-printed paper ballots anymore.
A worry among voters, especially after the 2016 Election, is whether the machines can be hacked. Holt says in addition to a paper ballot, a digital ballot is stored on an encrypted flash drive that cannot be accessed wirelessly. This also allows for two different ways to verify an election.
“It’s the most important process, it’s a civil duty,” said Holt about voting. “You can’t complain if you don’t vote, so get out and vote.”
Early voting in Ohio is underway and will end on November 4. In Lawrence County, registered voters can vote early by heading to the Board of Elections office inside the Lawrence County Courthouse and asking for an absentee application.
Voters can cast their ballots from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Early voting will also be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Sunday, November 3, 2019 from 1 p.m. until 5 pm.
If you’re mailing in an absentee ballot, it must be post marked for November 4, 2019.
Kentucky does not offer early voting, but they do offer in-person and absentee voting. Absentee voting has also been expanded to persons of age, illness reasons, and disability. Absentee voting in Kentucky ends at 4 p.m. on November 4.
For those in Boyd County, you can request an absentee ballot at the Boyd County Courthouse in Catlettsburg. Absentee voting is taking place on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Boyd County Courthouse. You can also call in to request an absentee ballot. Officials say the ballots must be back by 6:00 p.m. on election night.
For those in Cabell County, a general election is not being held this November.