Homecoming Vote Turns Into Chance To Learn About New Machines

Sep 17, 2019

This is the time of year when students choose their school’s homecoming courts. And kids in one Franklin County high school are voting in a very official way.

In the gym of Westland High School, real voting machines are programmed with the names of homecoming candidates.

Kids make their choices, print out the paper ballots and then take them to another machine that will tally them before Friday night’s football game, where the announcement of the winners will be made. The paper ballot is an important element of the process - Ohio law requires a voter verified paper trail, which voters and election workers can check if there are concerns.

“This is a chance to go through the process, to cast a ballot for homecoming king or queen, but also to learn about the voting process so that next year, they can vote in the real election," Secretary of State Frank LaRose said.

LaRose says these ExpressVote machines are being demonstrated at events throughout the state, since they were bought by 39 counties after $114.5 million in state funding came through last year.

He said students also can register to vote and sign up to be poll workers. Several students report they have signed up, and many say they plan to vote - not only for homecoming but also when they turn 18.