Board OKs levies, talks voting equipment

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — At their meeting Tuesday, the Miami County Board of Elections reviewed two Covington levies and discussed voting equipment.

The board took a closer look at two ballot issues for the Village of Covington after finding conflicting language in the resolution filing the levies with the Board of Elections.

“In some places, they had it as replacement, in some they had it as renewal,” Director Bev Kendall said.

The board voted to place the levies on the ballot as renewal levies.

Before voting, the board reviewed an opinion from the county prosecutor and heard from the village’s attorney, Frank Patrizio.

Interpreting the prosecutor’s opinion, Chairman Dave Fisher said, “There’s no harm in being on as replacement or as renewal because the voters have plenty of opportunity to basically do their homework.”

Speaking at the meeting, Patrizio told the board that the village council intended for both levies to be renewals.

“The final ordinance submitting it to the Board of Elections had an error on it; some of the language had replacement, it should have been renewal. The intent the whole way along was for it to be a renewal and we simply ask that it go on as a renewal,” Patrizio said.

The levies are a 1.6-mill levy and a 2.2-mill levy, which would be used to pay a portion of the contract for EMS and fire services.

The board also discussed several bids for new voting equipment. No decision was made on the new equipment.

The county has been offered just over $1 million from the state for new equipment. The board has received four proposals, three from ES&S and one from Clear Ballot, ranging from about $507,000 to $1.99 million.

Fisher said he is not in favor of electronic or hybrid voting systems, preferring a “full-face paper ballot” and calling it the “safest way to vote.”

Board member Ryan King said he viewed the paper-only voting system as a step backward technologically. He noted that paper ballots would still be tabulated electronically.

“I don’t think it’s a fair argument to pretend that this eliminates any potential fraud, because the tabulation is still electronic,” he said.

Board member Audrey King said she didn’t like the full digital option. Board member Rob Long expressed reluctance to ask for more taxpayer money above the amount offered by the state and said that he would like to consult the Miami County Commissioners.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at