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County buying land to build new elections board office

| May 10, 2022
The Tuscarawas County Commissioners have agreed to use American Rescue Plan money to buy this vacant lot at 933 East High Avenue and build a new headquarters for the board of elections. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (May 10, 2022) – Tuscarawas County is using its COVID relief money to build a new home for the County Board of Elections.

County Commissioners announced Monday they are going to purchase close to three vacant acres at 933 East High Avenue where they will eventually build a multi-functional facility for the elections office. Commissioner Al Landis says the $345,000 to buy the land and the construction costs will come from 2021’s American Rescue Plan – funds aimed at helping the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re trying to invest that money in the most effective, efficient manner to improve the quality of life here in Tuscarawas County, and we thought that the board of elections was a very, very good investment for that type of funding.”

Landis says the Board of Elections doesn’t have enough space in the lower level of County Courthouse. That location’s inadequacies were exposed during the 2020 general election.

“Due to restrictions on our size of our board of elections office there, we could only operate three voting machines at a time and then each machine had to be cleaned after each person voted. And consequently, we had a large line around the courthouse square here for people waiting to vote.”

Landis says the goal is to have a new, state-of-the-art facility ready for the 2024 general election. He says commissioners don’t have cost estimates or design plans yet.

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