Blackwell praises the harmony of voting day

Audrey Wagstaff

Ohio’s first electronic voting endeavor deemed successful

According to the Ohio secretary of state’s office, 44 counties used new electronic voting equipment in Tuesday’s election.

In a press release, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell congratulated poll workers and election officials.

“It was a great day for Ohio voters,” Blackwell said. “More than 15,000 new voting machines were used by nearly 1 million voters today, and we were overwhelmed with positive reports.”

Portage County was one of the counties using the new system.

Lois Enlow, director of the Portage County Board of Elections, oversaw the entire process, from training poll workers to testing the machines to running the board on Tuesday.

“We were very pleased with the results,” Enlow said. “We had some issues with some of the locations opening late and some printer issues.”

Still, Enlow said those problems were to be expected and were quickly resolved.

“We learned a lot,” she added.

James Lee, spokesman for Blackwell, said poll workers did an excellent job Tuesday.

Blackwell said there were a few minor glitches, but local election officials were able to take care of the problems quickly.

“There were poll locations that opened late for a number of reasons, but we’re talking about 11,000 precincts,” he said. “So moreover, it went quite smoothly.”

Lee added, “The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires that all states be using modern technology by the 2006 federal election. … This was a pretty large-scale endeavor that we engaged in as a state, but it was very positive.”

Blackwell reported that of the state’s 7.7 million registered voters, 3 million participated, or 39.7 percent. He had predicted a 41 percent turnout.

Contact public affairs reporter Audrey Wagstaff at [email protected].