MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections is working on a packet to hand out to petitioners seeking to be candidates in response to continued confusion about how to fill out candidate petitions, and they discussed their progress during their regular meeting this week.
Director Bev Kendall and Deputy Director Luke Scott presented the board with the lengthy packets, which included the Ohio Secretary of State’s candidate guide.
The board commended their efforts to compile the documents, but board member Ryan King suggested making some of the material available online unless otherwise requested in order to save on paper costs.
“That’s a lot to give to anybody,” King said.
Scott said they would look into getting links up and available on the board’s website. King also added that petitioners could request hard copies when they pick up their petition packets for future elections. The board’s office would still hand out checklists to potential candidates when they turn in their petitions.
Chairman Dave Fisher said the office employees will still need to remember to offer the packets and checklists to petitioners in the future.
“It’s customer service,” Fisher said.
The packet is still being worked on and condensed.
Board returns to West Milton Rotary
Also during their meeting, the board voted unanimously to return to contracting with the West Milton Rotary to deliver the board’s voting machines to voting locations for the upcoming election on Nov. 7. For their last election, the board contracted with Lewis and Michael Moving Company out of Dayton, to deliver the voting machines, as they provided a cheaper cost.
This time around, Lewis and Michael Moving Company is still the cheaper option, but the board members want to see their funds stay in the county. Fisher also noted that the West Milton Rotary’s cost was closer to Lewis and Michael Moving Company’s quote for this upcoming election than it was for the last election.
For the Nov. 7 election, Lewis and Michael Moving Company provided a quote of $4,912.50. The board approved contracting with the West Milton Rotary, which provided a cost of $6,075.
“I think that’s a good thing,” board member Rob Long said about their money staying in the county with the West Milton Rotary, as it will be used for scholarships and so forth.
“I think that’s a good thing, too, but we still have to be considerate about the county’s money,” Fisher said, later adding, “I’d like to see the money stay in the county.”
Prior to the vote, King also commented that if this the were his business, he would go with the West Milton Rotary even though it was a higher cost.
“I recognize, again, this isn’t my money,” King said
The board members all ultimately agreed on the West Milton Rotary.
Ambiguity surrounds voting machines
The board also discussed their recent Vendor Day event, which showcased a variety of voting machines available, including direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines and paper-based optical scan machines. The board was unsure what type the community prefers.
According to feedback provided at the event, attendees preferred DRE voting machines. Those attendees also included poll workers and employees from boards of elections from other counties, though, and not just community members.
Board member Audrey Gillespie said that she had heard from people in the community who wanted a paper trail, while King noted that he heard from people who wanted to stay with electronic voting.
“There’s definitely a fear out there with the DREs,” Fisher said, noting concerns of hacking.
The board decided to move forward with getting quotes from three companies to have cost estimates ready should funding from the state ever become available. Those companies include Dominion, Election Systems and Software, and Clear Ballot.
Piqua-Springcreek Township splits discussed
The board also addressed a couple minor topics in relation to the Piqua and Springcreek Township splits. Earlier this summer, the board uncovered a portion of the city of Piqua that is still a part of Springcreek Township. This overlap means that that residents in this area will be voting on both Piqua and Springcreek Township issues.
“The city of Piqua, when they did annexations, they didn’t do away with the Springcreek Township moniker,” Scott said.
Scott explained that the city of Piqua had petitioned the Miami County Commissioners to change the township boundaries so that it would just be the city of Piqua with no township because that had not been done.
The county commissioners have not yet approved the city of Piqua’s petition.
During the board’s recent meeting, the board approved additional ballot quantities for the voters in this area.
The Miami County Engineer’s Office will also be creating maps of the precincts in this area as well as additional maps for the board for free. Earlier in the meeting, Long estimated that this would provide the board with a cost-savings of around $4,000 this year.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336