BOE OKs mail vendor, early voting layout

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections approved an outside vendor for its absentee ballot requests and its early voting layout at the Miami County Courthouse during a special meeting on Monday.

Director Laura Bruns said this year’s Nov. 3 Presidential Election will likely have a historic turnout for both mail and early in person voting. Staff received three quotes for absentee ballot requests. The board approved to use IVS, the lowest bidder, which submitted a bid of $33,738 or $2.25 per ballot for 15,000; $55,738 or $2.23 per ballot for 25,000; and $66,738 or $2.23 per ballot for 30,000.

The IVS vendor would receive Miami County’s requests for absentee voting. The quote included database and election setup, packet assembly and mailing, which includes ballot, return envelope security sleeve and voter instructions; ballot printing, USPS mail tracking and postage. Cuyahoga County also uses the IVS vendor and Bruns said they had less than 20 errors the last time they outsourced their absentee ballot requests.

Bruns said staff attempted to get a quote on purchasing another ballot printer for the November election but was unsuccessful. Bruns said due to California only using mail-in voting this election, no printers were available. Bruns said she wasn’t comfortable relying on one ballot printer for the office due to the high volume of requests if the machine would malfunction.

The board also approved the layout of the early in-person voting plan. Bruns said Sheriff Dave Duchak and Commissioners Ted Mercer and Greg Simmons stopped at the office Monday and she showed them their plan to have the early voting on the first floor of the Miami County Courthouse. The plan allows the voter to check-in in the hallway. Entrance to the early voting center will be the south doors, facing Main Street at the front of courthouse to bypass the courthouse security, which is located on the east side of the building. The security bypass issue is to avoid voter disenfranchisement as well as adequate space for social distancing requirements. The layout would block access to the rest of the first floor, including the elevator. Bruns said after the rest of the courthouse closes at 4 p.m. as well as weekend hours, off-duty deputies with its association would assist with security until the early voting center closed. At last week’s meeting, Sheriff Duchak said he was OK with the plan with proper signage and access being blocked to the rest of the building.

The board of elections’ next meeting is July 28. Deadline for voter registration for the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 5. Early voting begins Oct. 6.