Booth resigns from board

LISBON — Columbiana County elections board director Adam Booth is leaving to take a job with a voting systems company.

Booth, 38, officially advised the board on Wednesday he was leaving after 10 years to work as an accounts manager for Clear Ballot, a Boston-based company that manufactures and sells optical scanner/paper ballot voting system similar to the one used in the county for the past 10 years. Clear Ballot also provides election auditing services in Florida, New York, Vermont and Maryland.

His last day is Feb. 15.

The board took turns praising Booth, with Larry Bowersock lauding him for keeping the elections board on top of the ever-changing requirements and technological advances in election equipment. “Like I told him, he’s probably the best director we’ve had,” he said.

Vic Maroscher, the board’s newest member, said he learned quickly about Booth’s standing in the elections community. “As I traveled with you to conferences I learned how well respected you are at the state by all of these officials. Columbiana County has been lucky to have someone like you, not only because of your IT expertise but because you are well respected for your knowledge,” he said.

Booth was also easy to work with. “I appreciated everything you’ve done and how fair you’ve been to all of us — staff, board members — and we’re going to miss you,” said board President Patty Colian.

Board member David Johnson said the new job represents a “great opportunity” for Booth and his family. “He brought professionalism, integrity and diligence to everything he’s done,” Johnson said.

“Thank you all. I appreciate it,” Booth told them.

Following the meeting, Booth said Clear Politics does not allow their employees to hold political positions, so he will be resigning as vice chairman of the county Republican Party.

Elections board deputy director Kim Fusco was moved up to the top job, and the board will begin taking applications to fill the deputy director position.

Booth, who will continue to live in Columbiana with his wife and two children, said he will be nearby if they need him. “I’m going to hold you to it,” Fusco said, adding, “I’ve big shoes to fill.”

Booth said Clear Ballot was one of several companies seeking to supply the county with a new paper ballot/optical scan voting system. The current voting system from Election Systems & Software, which also made a presentation, is about 10 years old.

The state has provided counties with money to replace older systems, and the county’s allocation is $1 million. Since there is no deadline requirement for spending the money, Fusco is recommending they wait until 2021 because she will not have time this year while breaking in a new deputy director and 2020 is a presidential election year.

In other action, the board granted 5 percent raises to three of its four employees. They last received a pay raise in 2016, and Johnson said the annual cost-of-living rate was 2.5 percent the past two years. The fourth employee was excluded because he received a step pay raise in July. The current hourly pay of employees ranges from $13.66 to $16.79.

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