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Ohio to receive more than $100,000 for polling upgrades

As a part of the Help America Vote Act, 92 precincts across the state of Ohio are set to receive grants for permanent polling improvements.

More than $100,000 will be spread among 20 counties including Vinton, Washington, Jackson and Athens, according to a news release from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.

The funds were made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are maximizing federal funds and making needed upgrades that may not have been economically feasible without grant monies,” Husted said in the news release.

The Help America Vote Act aims to include the replacement of voting machines, voter registration reform and better access to voting for the disabled in the renovations.

“The locations are directly aimed toward people with disabilities to make it easier for them to vote and park,” said state representative Debbie Phillips, D-92nd.

The Athens County Board of Elections was awarded four separate grants totaling $7,989.36.

“I saw the advantage and did not want to pass it up for the disabled voters of Athens County,” said Debbie Quivey, Director of the Athens County Board of Elections.

Athens County improvements include two lever doors at the Waterloo Community Senior Center, one lever door at the Golden Wings CB Club and concrete pads for the handicap parking spaces located in a gravel parking lot at the Federal Hocking Middle School and Carthage Township Volunteer Fire Department.

There are a total of 29 locations to vote in Athens County that cover 56 precincts.

In addition to the grants, the Help America Vote Act requires county boards of elections to ensure each polling location is accessible to voters with disabilities.

“We are in a partnership with these counties to ensure better access to the polls for Ohioans with disabilities,” Husted said in the news release. “We worked very hard to get these grants and took advantage of the secretary of state offering them.”

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