Paper ballots will be color coded at the April 22nd Primary- blue and gray, depending on if you are a Republican or a Democrat.


It sounded almost like a debate over what color the carpet should be.
Paper ballots will be color coded at the April 22nd Primary- blue and gray, depending on if you are a Republican or a Democrat. This was one of a few tasks approved by Wayne County Commissioners, Thursday for the elections. Voters will also be stuffing their votes in metal boxes rather than the cardboard variety more apt to be damaged in handling.
Paper ballots have to be color coded according to regulations handed down to the counties, said Cindy Furman, director, Wayne County Election Bureau. The colors are meant to ensure there is no mix-up of which party the sheet represents. The Pennsylvania Department of State even gave the Commissioners a choice, which generated a lot of smiles.
Republicans could be either blue or white. But why put a white a strip on a paper sheets that are already white? Commissioner Anthony Herzog made the motion for blue.
Democrats could be either pink or gray.  No one seemed comfortable with pink. Commissioner Wendell Kay, who is the lone Democrat on board, opted for gray.
Herzog quipped it was the “blues versus the grays.” Kay rejoined that the Civil War division won’t come back into political play over 140 years later.
In addition, they had to pick yellow or black in case there was a separate ballot question sheet, though Furman said they did not anticipate one. Chairman Brian Smith made the motion for yellow.
Furman will determine if it will be cheaper to print ballots on colored paper according to these choices, or print colored strips on white paper. Furman added black sheets of paper definitely wouldn’t do (so just as well they picked yellow).
They also approved purchasing metal ballot boxes rather than use cardboard boxes as they did last November when the thought was paper balloting would be temporary. The County moved to keep paper balloting after concerns with a Commonwealth Court lawsuit over going back to touch screen electronic voting machines. The electronic machines were decertified by the state last October, prior to the November election, forcing a quick return to paper not unlike our forefathers had.
Metal boxes with slots on the side were chosen, rather than on top, to allow the ballots to lay right and be more practical for the optical scanning devices to later read the votes. The base cost will be $3,031 for 37 boxes, one for each precinct. The boxes will have padlocks, to be opened only when returned to the Courthouse after polls close.
Manilla folders will be made available if voters wish to insert their ballot for privacy, before depositing the ballot in the box.
Note: The last day to register to vote before the Primary, is March 24, 2008.
The County Commissioners meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. at the Courthouse.