Ohio’s Franklin County Using Backup System to Check-In Voters After Technical Problems

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
November 3, 20202020 Election
Ohio’s Franklin County Using Backup System to Check-In Voters After Technical Problems
Signage directing voters at a polling location in Bangor, Maine, on Nov. 3, 2020. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Ohio’s Franklin County, the most populous one in the state, switched to paper poll books after they experienced technical problems on Election Day, said Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Tuesday.

Franklin County includes the capital city, Columbus.

County officials said the board of elections “will be using its backup paper poll books to check in voters today,” according to a statement in the morning. “This is why we have contingency plans in place and the process is working. We decided to go with the backup paper poll books to ensure that one voter can only cast one vote.”

A spokesman for Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the state’s top elections official, warned that residents may have to wait in long lines to vote.

In a statement, the Secretary of State’s team wrote that because of the glitch, officials “are shifting to paper poll books to check-in voters today.”

“It’s important to note that this does NOT impact voting machines in any way, and only modifies how voters are checked in,” a spokesperson for La Rose said on Twitter. “Secretary LaRose directed every board of elections to have paper poll books as a contingency plan to ensure the integrity of the system and so no voter may vote twice. It will not impact the security or accuracy of today’s vote,” the official added.

Ed Leonard, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, told the Columbus Dispatch, “We can’t guarantee all the data would be there for all the most recent absentee activity.”

About 350,982 people had cast early votes in Franklin County before Election Day via mail-in or early voting. The county has around 833,000 registered voters, according to the paper.

Leonard said it will likely slow down voting.

“It will add a little bit of time to that first step,” Leonard said. “I think as our folks get their sea legs they’ll get a comfort level. For some of them it’s what they were used to doing before poll pads.”

Ohio is considered a crucial battleground state in the 2020 election. Trump defeated his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton by more than 8 percentage points.

Franklin County in 2016 was won by Clinton, who took 59 percent of the vote, while Trump got 33 percent of the vote.

From The Epoch Times

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