Miami County Board of Elections certifies Nov. 3 election results

By Sam Wildow -

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections certified the Nov. 3 elections results on Monday morning after having taken all of the approved provisional ballots into account.

In Piqua, Kathryn “Kazy” Hinds was named the winner of the city of Piqua 5th Ward commissioner and mayor race. A 27 vote difference is what separated Hinds and her opponent Gary Michael Koenig.

Koenig won the majority of the votes for Piqua mayor. However, the Piqua mayor must first be a commissioner according to Piqua’s city charter. Hinds has won the mayor seat by default after receiving the majority of the votes in the Piqua Commission 5th Ward race.

“There’s nothing close enough for a recount,” Bev Kendall, director of the Miami County Board of Elections, said.

An automatic recount for any race would have occurred if the difference in the votes was less than half of 1 percent. With including the provisional ballots that were counted after the election was over, the difference in the votes between Hinds and Koenig for the city of Piqua 5th Ward commissioner seat is 0.6 percent.

The board also discussed recent subpoenas that their office has received, including one that was submitted over the summer from the Ohio Democratic Party and a new one from the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Columbus Coalition for the Homeless.

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Columbus Coalition for the Homeless are seeking writings relating to provisional ballots cast in 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2015, writings relating to post-election analysis of provisional ballots, writings relation to any analysis of or data regaring homeless voters, and other similar documents relating to provisional and absentee ballots.

The board’s office is expected to meet with Miami County Assistant Prosecutor Chris Englert to discuss these subpoenas before providing any documents, including discussing a confidentiality agreement with the Ohio Democratic Party regarding the first subpoena.

The board also approved providing potential candidates a candidate checklist when they come to the office to pick up a petition.

“I think we should give them (the checklist) when we give them the petitions,” board member Bob Huffman said. “Obviously we have to follow the law and if someone doesn’t comply, like it or not, we can’t put them on the ballot. But we should do everything we can to get people on ballot and facilitate people turning in good petitions without us advising them on how to do it and violating the legal advice requirements. So I would be all for giving them a checklist if it assists them in getting it right.”

Huffman later added, “Our goal is to help people and get them to fill out the petitions right.”

The board also discussed possible purchases to be made in the future, including purchasing new battery packs for some of the voting machines and a Ballots-on-Demand module. The board needs at least 24 battery packs — 36 if they decide to purchase 12 back-up battery packs — at a cost of approximately $150 per battery pack. The ones that they will be replacing are at least seven years old, according to Kendall.

The Ballots-on-Demand module would cost approximately $6,283 with approximately $5,500 to install it. According to Kendall, that price is good for 60 days. The board needs to receive approval from the Miami County Data Board first.

“This will allow our voter registration system where we can enter absentee ballots into the system and will generate a queue to be printed automatically,” deputy director Eric Morgan said.

It is expected to save them man hours and money with their part-time staff.

The board went into executive session to discuss the pending legal matters and personnel. After executive session was over, the board approved raising the wages of their part-time workers from $10 an hour to $10.50 an hour, retroactive to Nov. 1.

By Sam Wildow

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall