Voting machines 1

Barbara S. Miller/Observer-Reporter

In this file photo from September, Joseph Passarella, regional sales manager for ES&S voting machine company, shows members of the Washington County Elections Board how candidate selection is similar to the direct-record equipment in use since 2006.

The general election is not until Tuesday, Nov. 5, but in Washington County, Thursday, Oct. 24, is shaping up as an election-related preview among several organizations.

The two major political parties have scheduled evening events, and the non-partisan League of Women Voters is sponsoring a daytime gathering with Melanie Ostrander, county elections director.

Although new voting machines won’t be deployed until the April 28, 2020, presidential primary, Ostrander will be presenting information about them in conjunction with the league at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in the public meeting room on the first floor of the Courthouse Square office building, 100 W. Beau St., Washington.

The county expects to soon be signing a $2.87 million contract for the new voting machines and scanners that will produce a paper record of ballots that can be examined as part of a recount or election challenge.

Ostrander will also be discussing the voter registration process, which closed Oct. 7 for the upcoming election, the need for poll workers and redistricting in five townships: Amwell, Cecil, Donegal and North and South Strabane.

Voters in those municipalities should have already received correspondence from the elections office about where they should vote Nov. 5. Not all voters in these municipalities will be going to new polling places.

Phyllis Waller, president of the League of Women Voters of Washington County, has more information about the program at or 724-222-7824.

Meanwhile, Washington County Democrats and Republicans are meeting separately on the 24th with Democrats convening in the Mon Valley and Republicans gathering in Washington.

The Washington County Democratic Committee will meet at 6 p.m. at the Charleroi American Legion Post 22, 234 Fallowfield Ave.

Committee meetings are open to all registered Democrats in Washington County. The business meeting will last until approximately 6:30 p.m., after which there will be a meet-and-greet with Democratic candidates who are running countywide.

The Republicans have billed their candidates’ event at the 19 N. Main St. event center as a “turn it red rally” from 6 to 8 p.m.

The cost is $20 per person for light refreshments. There will be a cash bar.

The kick-off for the rally is a VIP reception for members of the Trump Club of Washington County from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at $100 per person, which includes Trump Club 2020 membership.

More information is available from, 724-612-4421.

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