Miami County Board of Elections continues prep for November election

By Sam Wildow -

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections continued the planning and preparation for the Nov. 8 Presidential Election during their meeting on Friday morning.

They began by certifying the recent special election that nominated Steven Fought as the Democratic nominee running against Republican Warren Davidson for the U.S. Representative seat for the 8th Congressional District. In Miami County, the votes for Fought stayed the same with 179 votes cast for him. A total of 186 people — or 0.02 percent of register voters in the county — voted in the special election, but seven people cast blank ballots.

There was one provisional ballot submitted, on which the name of Steven Fought was crossed out. The board approved accepting the provisional ballot as a blank ballot.

The board then approved the quantities for the paper ballots for the Nov. 8 election. There will be 100 paper ballots available at each precinct polling location, and there are 85 precincts in Miami County. A cost was not discussed during their meeting.

The minimum that the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office requires is whatever the paper ballot amount that was used in a precinct during the last presidential election plus five additional ballots. The could vary between each precinct. Director Bev Kendall and Deputy Director Eric Morgan said that 100 paper ballots per precinct would surpass the minimum requirement and that they would not need to print anymore the day of the election.

The board also approved the TSX voting machine allocation for each precinct, which will be the same number as the presidential primary.

Also during their meeting, the board approved the pollworkers for the Nov. 8 election along with the supervisor voting location managers (VLM) for each polling location. There will be supervisor VLMs at each polling location where there is three or more precincts voting.

The board also approved Kendall’s daughter working as a pollworker as long as it did not conflict with any guidelines from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

The board then went on to discuss an issue with the West Milton income tax that is on the ballot, which is an income tax that is already in effect in the village. The village of West Milton requested that the board list the income tax as a renewal on their website even though the board cannot list it as a renewal on the Nov. 8 ballot due to rules that the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office has proscribed.

“It’s going to be confusing, but they have an income tax on the ballot. It’s actually a renewal — it’s already in effect — but it doesn’t say ‘renewal’ anywhere on it,” Morgan said. “In the language, it says a ‘continuance.’”

The board approved keeping the local ballots issue titles and descriptions that are posted on the website the same as they would appear on the ballot. The description of the West Milton income tax issue will continue to call it an “continuance,” but it will not be listed as a renewal.

“I think whatever is on the ballot should appear on the website,” board member Dean Tamplin said. Board member Ryan King and Chairman Kelly Gillis agreed.

“I appreciate where they’re coming from,” King said.

Gillis also expressed sympathy, saying that he understood that they wanted to educate voters that there would be no additional costs, but it was the job of the committee behind that local issue to educate voters.

“I don’t think it’s our job to promote their election,” Gillis said.

The board ended with mentioning another potential meeting on Thursday to be held in executive session for the purpose of personnel. The time for that meeting was not set.

Board member Jose Lopez was absent during Friday’s meeting.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336