Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
By William Kincaid
Election night goes well
  CELINA - Election night went smoothly in Mercer County compared to the 2010 elections.
Final unofficial results for all 38 precincts were made available to the public about 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Mercer County Courthouse. No problems were reported at any of the precincts.
Problems with voting equipment in last year's general election delayed the release of results until about 2:30 a.m., and the 2010 primary election results were available about 1 a.m.  
Board of elections member Mark Uhlenhake and deputy director Laura Bruns attributed the faster process to well-prepared poll workers, the use of electronic voting machines and new electronic voter identification machines.
"We did a lot more hands-on training with them (poll workers), and we did smaller classes," Bruns said.
She also believes electronic voting machines - which were the primary means of voting Tuesday - sped the tabulation time. Poll workers encouraged voters to use the machines, and as a result, only four paper ballots were cast Tuesday, she said.
"Everything was just perfect with the touch screens," she said.
Uhlenhake said people seemed happy using the electronic machines.
"And that's good to have that feedback," he said.
Board members this year authorized a $26,479 purchase of electronic voter verification equipment - known as electronic poll books - for the Celina polling locations. Poll workers were able to immediately identify voters and make sure they voted in the right precinct.
"The people loved them," Bruns said. "They really made it a lot faster."
Not only do the poll books save time, but they also insure the integrity of the election, board member Toni Slusser said.
The voter turnout in Mercer County was 17.81 percent. Twenty-nine provisional ballots will be counted on May 18.
"I think it was splendid - everything went real well," Mercer County Board of Elections Director Deb Sneddon said. "If we can get a little bit of improved end time, we're heading in the right direction."
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
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• Minster tax levy passes by narrow margin
• St. Marys schools $1.95million levy fails overwhelmingly
• Weather conditions postpone progress
• Voters see need for DD programs
• Moore ready to serve as city law director
• St. Henry school improvement levy passes
• Bubp beats Wesner for St. Marys council seat
• Improvement project slated for Sharpsburg Road
• Store sells new bicycles
• Elida's Martz outduels Celina's ace
• Kerr hits pair of homers in one inning
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Wednesday
82°
Mostly Sunny
10%
Wednesday Night
64°
Partly Cloudy
10%
Thursday
85°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
20%
Thursday Night
71°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
23%
Friday
87°
Chance Thunderstorms
58%
Friday Night
63°
Thunderstorms Likely
60%
Saturday
74°
Chance Thunderstorms
40%
Saturday Night
54°
Partly Cloudy
5%
Sunday
74°
Mostly Sunny
6%
Sunday Night
51°
Mostly Clear
1%
3 Day
Extended
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