As the beginning of a new year comes into sight so will a new wave of municipal leadership. On Nov. 7, voters will take to the ballots in Greene County and in many areas all over the country, to vote for state and local offices such as judges, commissioners, school board, and others.
According to Eric Finch, director of elections in Greene County, preparation for Election Day is hectic all over.
“Preparation looks like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange,” said Finch. “There’s dozen of moving pieces and people working together to make sure Tuesday runs smoothly. If you walk into the office, you’ll hear multiple conversations going on at once, two printers running nearly nonstop, and the phone ringing often.”
From running “mock elections” to ensure the ballot machines are working correctly and printing example ballots, county offices have a big responsibility when it comes to ensuring everything runs smoothly on Election Day.
“We are constantly taking notes of every phone call and interaction to ensure everything gets completed,” said Finch. “An additional specific step the office can take to ensure that everything runs smoothly, not just on election day but in general, is verifying the ballot is without error.”
Sometimes, however, there can be an issue with the ballot, which may cause even more work for the office correcting the mistake and ensuring it will not happen again.
“At least 80% of our time has been dedicated to correcting that issue and the dealing with the ramifications of that issue. On behalf of the Elections Office, although no one here was responsible for the ballot errors, I apologize,” said Finch alluding to a recent error in the ballot example.
Since the election office is doing everything they can to ensure Election Day is running smoothly, they are encouraging voters to do their part.
“First and foremost, I would encourage voters to focus their time before Election Day. What I mean by that is, you have to dedicate time beforehand. Do some research on the candidates for every race from Justice of the Supreme Court to Judges of the Superior Court and Commonwealth Courts to County Commission to local school board, council, and mayor,” said Finch. “Our votes can not only benefit us but they can also harm us. Every race and position is important.”
Finch encouraged voters to take a look at the example ballot, located at www.co.greee.pa.us/resources/37362. Voters are also encouraged to know where they can vote. Finch provided a list of places for Greene County voters to partake in Election Day.
Before getting back to the business of preparation for Election Day, Finch had one more piece of advice for voters.
“I just want to emphasize that although voting might not be fun and it may be daunting to some, it’s so important that we all vote and that we vote knowing the candidates. Let your voice be heard by the click of a button or the filling in of an oval.”