MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections held their last meeting before the March 15 Presidential Primary on Thursday afternoon. Director Bev Kendall and Deputy Director Eric Morgan updated the board on the continuing early and absentee voting. Morgan stated that they were up to approximately 2,900 absentee voters and approximately 1,300 in-office voters.
“Everything’s going smooth,” Kendall said.
Kendall and Morgan also needed board approval to establish voters’ intents on two paper ballots that were submitted. For the first one they discussed, Morgan and Kendall presented a paper ballot on which it was unclear for whom the voter was voting in regard to the sheriff race. A large marking appeared to fill two or more bubbles instead of just one.
The board agreed not to count that vote, as they were unable to determine the voter’s intent.
“I would move that as it relates to the first ballot that you’ve shown us that we do not — cannot — ascertain voter intent as to the sheriff’s race,” board member Jose Lopez said.
The next ballot Kendall and Morgan needed approval on was in regard to the 8th Congressional District Representative race. On that paper ballot, the voter appeared to mark a vote for one candidate, cross that vote out, write “no” next to that candidate, mark a vote for another candidate, and then write “yes” next to that candidate.
The board decided to infer that vote with the “yes” written next to it meant the voter wanted to vote for that candidate, who was Bill Beagle. The candidate with the “no” written next to it was Terri King.
The board will have to physically remake each of those two paper ballots, which were submitted by two different voters.
Near the end of the meeting, Lopez explained that he is now the board’s liaison to the Miami County Commissioners now that Bob Huffman is no longer on the board. Lopez explained that in discussing with the commissioners if the board of elections does not have funds budgeted to pay for another part-time employee, “money would be made available.”
During the Presidential Primary on Tuesday, the board members will be circulating different polling locations.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336