Early voting continues to thrive

MIAMI COUNTY — With record early voting turnout and returned absentee ballots, the Miami County Board of Elections staff reported positive feedback from the public.

On Tuesday, Director Laura Bruns said it has been a team effort to keep lines moving and absentee ballots processed with less than a week to go before Election Day on Nov. 3.

“I’m pretty happy how it’s going,” Bruns said.

Bruns said staff has received “overwhelmingly positive” feedback from early voters.

As of Tuesday late afternoon, Deputy Director Ian Ridgeway said 15,005 early votes had been cast and 12,313 absentee ballots have been returned. In comparison, in the 2016 presidential election, 10,000 early votes and 10,000 absentee ballots were cast overall.

Approximately 3,500 absentee ballots have yet to be received. Approximately 1,200 early votes were cast on Monday and 600 on Saturday or around 150 voters an hour. Approximately 200 votes have been cast curbside. Curbside voting will be available at each precinct on Nov. 3. A sign with directions on how to vote curbside will be posted at each location.

Absentee ballot issues have been minimal, Bruns said. Around 50 ballot envelopes had issues with either ID, signature, or stub issues and contact has been made with each voter to rectify those issues.

Bruns said the ballot envelope checklist and its new design have helped curtail those issues to just a small percentage in the general election.

The board also conducted a public test of the voting equipment, which was successful.

Bruns reported to the board that the 2021 budget is projected to be $727,971.74. The 2020 budget, a presidential election year, was approximately $970,750.