Miami County Board of Elections approves, rejects provisional ballots

Some approved, others rejected

By Sam Wildow -

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections met Monday morning to either approve or reject the nearly 500 provisional ballots submitted during the March 15 Presidential Primary election.

The first set of provisional ballots that the board reviewed were 43 ballots of people whose voter registrations were previously cancelled due to inactivity. Their voter registrations were cancelled prior to the presidential primary.

In the next grouping, the board accepted two provisional ballots on which the voter had requested an absentee ballot that was not returned. The voters, instead, voted provisionally on Election Day.

The next grouping of 16 provisional ballots discussed will need to be remade, as the voters went to the right location to vote, but still voted in the wrong precinct.

“Right church, wrong pew,” Deputy Director Eric Morgan said, explaining that the voters went to the wrong table.

“Any nobody caught it?” Gillis said.

Morgan stated that was correct and said that those ballots will have to be remade. He added later that their votes will still count.

“Why would a poll worker let someone vote in the wrong (precinct)?” Gillis asked. Morgan explained that a voter could have demanded to vote at that table or a poll worker just did not catch it.

The next 12 provisional ballots discussed were rejected due to voting at the wrong location altogether.

“How does that happen?” board member Jose Lopez asked. “They physically show up at the wrong place and demand a provisional?”

“Or the poll worker just lets them vote,” Director Bev Kendall said.

Lopez said that the voter or the poll worker could have called the Board of Elections office to find out the correct voting location for the voter.

“Those are the kinds of things that need to be in our poll worker training,” Lopez said. “We’ve got to be able to direct people to the right place.”

Gillis noted that when he was at a voting location in Tipp City during the presidential primary, there were two individuals who demanded to vote there even though their voting precincts were at a different location. The voters stated that they had always voted at that location and demanded to do so again, and Gillis told them if they did that, their votes were not going to count.

In the case of those 12 ballots, the director was unsure of as to what length the poll workers went to find out where the voter should be and to inform the voter.

“As part of our poll worker training in the future when (the voter’s) name does not appear on the list … they’re to call back here and find out what precinct the person is supposed to be in and that information is to be given to the voter,” Lopez said. “Whether they go there or not is their business. This is, I think, fulfilling our obligation that we’re trying to facilitate as many votes as we can.”

The board then rejected two ballots for not providing correct addresses one. Neither of those individuals voted at the correct location, either.

The board also rejected another two ballots, as the voters had invalid applications. One voter only provided a name on the provisional ballot and the other wrote his or her birth year as being “2016.”

The last grouping of rejected ballots were from 54 non-registered voters.

The board then accepted the remaining 362 ballots.

“The staff did a very nice job on election day,” Lopez said, adding that they were able to go through the primary “very quickly” and it was “very much appreciated.”

“I think the staff did a real good job,” Gillis said. Gillis said he thought it was a “mighty fine election” and he was “very pleased.”

Some approved, others rejected

By Sam Wildow

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall