Board of Elections approves raises, preps for 2020


By Melanie Yingst - Miami Valley Today



MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections approved raises for full-time and part-time seasonal workers following an executive session held on Dec. 23.

According to Executive Director Laura Bruns, the board unanimously approved to adjust full-time employee pay with a 7.5 percent raise beginning Dec. 28.

The board also unanimously approved to increase the rate of part-time seasonal employees to $12.50 per hour on Dec. 28.

The board also presented the highest rating for Bruns and Deputy Director Ian Ridgeway for administration, supervision and daily duties.

The board of elections office will be closed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 2 for an employee lunch.

At the Dec. 23 meeting, the board approved to entered into a contract with Clear Ballot for five days of assistance in 2020 at a cost not to exceed $17,000.

Bruns also said the board of elections would be holding early voting at the Hobart Government Center for the March 17, 2020 primary.

Bruns reported she held meetings with approximately 70 poll workers and election officials to gain feedback from the Nov. 5, 2019 election. She said she received good suggestions and ideas on how to make the voting process more efficient. Bruns said staff will diagram each location and focus on how to move voters from the polls to the scanner as well as in and out voter traffic.

Bruns said staff will hold trainings at the Troy-Miami County Library for poll workers due to the location of the early voting area at Hobart Government Center so staff can walk to and from the buildings which are across the street from one another.

Bruns reported staff conducted an audit of the Nov. 5 election for the Upper Valley Career Center’s levy. Board staff hand counted 688 ballots (7 percent of the total votes cast) and recorded a 100 percent match of results.

Deputy Director Ian Ridgeway said the board plans to print out ballots for 105 percent of registered voters or 76,125 ballots, for the March 17 primary. The board also has the ability to print ballots on demand if a polling location runs out of paper ballots. A discussion about how the ballot scanners would check for blank, under or over voting errors was held. The Ohio Revised Code requires board staff to test for blank ballots. The board agreed for the scanners to be set up to kick-back ballots that are blank or registers over-votes. Under voting, voting for one person out of two or three available, is common, according to Bruns. Under voting will not be an option to which the ballot scanner will kick back the ballot in the upcoming March 17, 2020 election.

By Melanie Yingst

Miami Valley Today

Reach Melanie Yingst at myingst@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach Melanie Yingst at myingst@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.