Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Fulton County elections chief to give notice of retirement

WAUSEON - Gloria Marlatt, director of the Fulton County Board of Elections, plans to submit her resignation at Wednesday's elections board meeting, where discussion also is expected on new voting machines.

Ms. Marlatt, whose resignation is effective at year's end, turns 65 on June 10. She has been director since 1992.

"I want to enjoy life," said Ms. Marlatt, who started part-time work with the board in 1984 and is paid $33,666 yearly. She is a Republican.

Sandra Barber, chairman of the county Republican Party's central committee, said she will call a meeting of its executive committee this month to recommend a replacement for Ms. Marlatt.

She said she has had three or four inquiries since Ms. Marlatt informally announced her retirement last month.

The four-member board of elections is expected to hire a replacement this summer. The new person is expected to become director rather than Deputy Director Kathy Meyer because the director is to be of the same political party as the secretary of state, Mrs. Barber said, adding that the chairman of the county elections board is to be of the opposite party.

"That's the checks and balances which I think works well in a board of elections office," she said.

More discussion on new voting machines for the November election also is expected Wednesday.

The board is to receive 154 touch-screen machines - to replace its punch-card machines - with almost $415,000 from the federal Help America Vote Act.

But the secretary of state's office recommends a machine for every 175 voters and Fulton County has about 28,000 registered voters. Not all of them vote in any one election, of course, but Ms. Marlatt said the board is thinking about getting an additional 20 machines at a cost of $2,700 each.

Where that $54,000 would come from has not been decided.

Ms. Marlatt said she hoped more federal money

might be available. If not, such a bill probably would fall to the county commissioners.

The board unanimously decided last month to use touch-screen machines instead of optical scan machines, which read paper ballots where voters have filled-in ovals.

The board felt a system scanning paper ballots would have been more expensive in the long run, Ms. Marlatt said.

"You're going to print all these ballots. You don't know how many are going to go vote. It was just like going back in time," she said of the presentation on optical scan systems.

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