Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
By Janie Southard
Auglaize Election board gears up for Ohio primary
  WAPAKONETA - Six days and counting until voters hit the polls for the Ohio primary, an event national media will be watching closely. County election board members were hard at it Tuesday testing the paper ballot system to make sure the machines tally properly.
"We're using dummy ballots to verify the (paper) cards and the (machine) tape ... The dummies represent all the examples that may occur: village and township races and issues," said Peg Matheny, deputy director at the Auglaize County board of elections.
Official ballots also have been verified and rechecked, according to Executive Director Carolyn Campbell, who added that all memory cards have been sealed in the machines.
"All precincts will receive the machine in a sealed case. If that (paper) seal is broken we'll know it because the word 'void' will appear in white lettering," Campbell said. "Of course, the bottom line is that if someone really wants to break into the machines, they will do it no matter what. But, we'll know it."
It's not too late to vote absentee and anyone can vote absentee for any reason.
The office will be open the rest of the week and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. The last day for absentee voting is Monday.
And remember in a primary election all the voters must declare party affiliation and can declare either party, not matter whether they are registered Republican or Democrat.
"You can't come to the polls and say you're an Independent and want both ballots. It just doesn't work that way. You must declare a party," Campbell said.
The reason voters are asked which party ballot they want is that a primary is a nominating process not an election. It is the process by which the political parties select their candidates for the November election.
Another thing to remember is take identification to the polls. There is no voting without it.
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