Board reviews policies, procedures

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections met in a work sessions for several hours to review policies and procedures at the Miami County Courthouse on Saturday morning.

Kenny Henning, a regional liaison from the Secretary of State’s office, was also in attendance as the board reviewed policy and procedures.

The board reviewed policies such as voting machine shutdown procedures, ballot and document proofing, voting system testing, internal and external communications, petition acceptance, signature validation, public records and social media.

Deputy director Ian Ridgeway led the policy review sessions. He also showed the board and Henning how early voting ballots would be tracked in a binder to document each vote. Ridgeway said there have been 39 early votes cast so far for the May 7 primary. Early voting began April 9.

Ridgeway has overseen the Miami County Board of Elections office since January.

The Secretary of State’s Office required the board to create a “thorough and specific” set of procedures, update its Election Administration Plan, ensure its staff receives extensive training and conduct a test election in July or August 2019.

The state approved the Election Administration plan, which the board reviewed and will take action at a future meeting. The plan details the board’s election process and contingency plans if issues arise.

Earlier this month, the Secretary of State’s office spent hundreds of hours investigating the error and determined that there is no evidence of any “unlawful or malicious” action nor was there any technological malfunction on Election Night that caused the 6,288 early votes to go uncounted in the November 2018 general elections. The state determined uncounted votes did not affect the outcome of any race.

Board of Elections staff tasked with shutting down machines used for in-person early voting, the same machines used on Election Day, missed an extra step necessary for processing early votes. Because the machines were not shut down properly, thousands of votes were not counted. The policy and procedures to shut down the machines were reviewed by the board on Saturday.

All board members were present for the work session.

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Board of Elections hold special work session Saturday

By Melanie Yingst

Miami Valley Today