MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections received an update on early and absentee voting for the March 15 presidential primary during their meeting Thursday afternoon. Deputy Director Eric Morgan said that they have received approximately 1,400 requests for early voting, with approximately 40 people per day coming into the office.
Morgan also gave an update on the 20 voting machines that the office sent back to their vendor Dominion for repair. The vendor is currently having issues unlocking the machines, and they previously requested that the board of elections office send Dominion the central administration card to unlock the machines.
Morgan explained at the board’s last meeting that they do not have that card and they have never needed it before to have those machines unlocked. Dominion previously told Morgan that it would cost approximately $175 per machine to unlock them without that card. Dominion is now agreeing to waive those charges to unlock the machines, according to Morgan.
Board member Jose Lopez then discussed how he has been receiving numerous phone calls from concerned voters since the recent coverage of the logic and accuracy testing done on their voting machines. The 20 voting machines that were sent back to their vendor to be repaired were found to have a glitch that changed the votes of the testers. A voter would cast a vote for a particular candidate, but the touchscreen on the machine would malfunction and a different candidate would be selected.
The seasonal employee in charge of the logic and accuracy testing was confident that all of the machines experiencing the glitch were removed from use. Lopez reiterated that confidence during the meeting, stating that the voting machines in use and that will be in use for the March 15 election are working correctly and do not have that glitch.
“They think these machines are malfunctioning, and I mean, we need to make sure that public understands there isn’t any machine that’s in service that’s malfunctioning in any way,” Lopez said. “They’ve all been tested, they’re working fine, and we have adequate supplies in reserve for any machine that may cause us a problem on Election Day … Their votes are going to count, and they’re going to be counted correctly.”
The board also has extra voting machines that can be swapped for any voting machines if a problem comes up with one of the voting machines in use.
“There will be no hold-up for the election,” Lopez said.
Lopez explained that logic and accuracy testing always finds machines that are not up to par.
“This isn’t any different than what we’ve had in prior years,” Lopez said. “When we’ve gone through (logic and accuracy), we’ve always had some machines that didn’t really test out. We take them out, and we put in different ones.”
The board then went over their voter registration system Triad, which is still working correctly. Brett Rapp, president of Triad, was present during the meeting to reassure the board that the system is continuing to work.
“IT (information technology) put in six new PC’s,” Rapp said. “So we’re going through and we’re just checking configurations and all that to make sure that we’re not going to have any additional problems or anything. There’s not been a lot of work done since then because the only major emphasis now is absentee voting. They’ve already caught up. All the registrations are in, all that work is done. So absentee voting’s going fine.”
Rapp added that there have been no data issues this week and no audit issues with the state.
“I just wanted to be here for you, let you know that we’re still here,” Rapp said.
Lopez said that the board appreciated Rapp’s presence and that their ability to reassure the public that everything is working “exactly the way it’s supposed to be going” was important.
The board’s meeting Thursday also marked the end of board member Bob Huffman’s service. Huffman was absent during the meeting, but chairman Kelly Gillis thanked Huffman on the record.
“I appreciate Bob’s service,” Gillis said.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall
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