MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections approved participating in a pilot program with the software company BallotSync during the board’s meeting Tuesday afternoon.
BallotSync’s pilot program is testing use of its new software, which allows county boards of elections to share election information with other counties, such as ballot issues that need to be on the ballot in multiple counties. Use of the software for the pilot program is free. There are currently approximately 20 counties participating in the pilot program.
Deputy Director Luke Scott explained that this software could be possibly funded through the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office if House Bill 237 passes, which would require notice to be given of local elections covering more than one county. Scott explained that the impetus behind HB 237 was an issue in Delaware County where the county failed to notify nearby, less populous counties in the same taxing district of a ballot issue. It was of a renewal levy to raise construction funds for the Delaware Area Career Center, and it only appeared on the ballot for voters in Delaware County. The goal of the BallotSync software would be to prevent communication errors like Delaware County’s issue.
In regard to the pilot program, Scott explained the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office may fund the initial rollout of the BallotSync software or something like it for all of Ohio’s counties but the local counties would have to fund the yearly maintenance.
“There will be costs down the road, but this let’s us know what’s out there,” Scott said.
The board members were in favor of participating in the pilot program.
“It’s free, and it’s a safety net,” board member Audrey Gillespie said. Chairman Dave Fisher also said he thought it was a good idea.
Also during the board’s meeting, the board approved contracting with MAXIMUS Consulting Services, Inc. to calculate the allowable expenses that the board can charge political subdivisions in the county for expenses incurred during the recent May election. The board referred to these expenses as “charge-backs,” which include expenses such as the cost of ballots, advertising, and pollworker pay for which the board pays upfront.
The board approved the cost of $1,375 for the May election, which was calculated at a discounted rate of $25 per voting precinct that was open during that election. The cost will also be charged back to the political subdivisions by how many precincts were included in that area. If the board decides to utilize MAXIMUS Consulting Services, Inc. for the upcoming November election, the total cost will be $4,250 or $50 per precinct.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the pilot program was through the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. The pilot test will only be through the software company BallotSync and the Secretary of State is not associated with the pilot program. The Daily Call regrets this error.
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