Board finds irregularity in campaign finance audit; Citizens for Troy Schools experiences issue with an LLC donor

By Jordan Green

[email protected]

TROY — The Miami County Board of Elections met Wednesday, June 22 to review the the post-election audits and discuss funding for the Aug. 2 primary election.

The campaign finance audits found an irregularity in the funding for the group Citizens for Troy Schools.

“In conducting the audit for Citizens for Troy Schools, it was found that they have an ongoing contribution from an LLC … my understanding, from working with the treasurer is that it is a portion of vending machine sales from Bottling Group LLC-FSV,” said Director Laura Bruns of the Miami County Board of Elections.

Ohio Revised Code 3517.10 requires a group receiving money from an LLC to list the name of the partnership and the name of the partner.

“So, when I sent them an audit letter,” said Bruns, “and the revised code cite that we needed the attribution from the name of one of the partners he started working on it right away. Eventually, he finally got an answer from them, and they will not give him a name.”

Three checks from Bottling Group LLC-FSV have already been deposited by the group but the remaining checks from 2022 are uncashed.

“I told him my recommendation was to refund the three from this year and, moving forward, to not accept any contributions,” said Bruns.

The Board of Elections will refer to Miami County Prosecutor Anthony Kendall for a legal opinion and move forward from there.

Also discussed was the audit of the May 3 election took place on June 7 and lasted five hours covering six precincts and 978 ballots or 5.9428 % of the total.

“They did come up with a 100% match to the official canvass. So, it was a clean audit,” said Bruns.

Funding for the Aug. 2 primary is in the hands of Governor Mike DeWine as $20 million in election funding was added to House Bill 377, which allocates federal coronavirus funding.

The bill will provide a $182,094 grant to the Miami County to fund the Aug. 2 primary.

This is Ohio’s second primary in 2022 due to redistricting issues. A directive issued by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose stated that “a three-judge federal panel for the Southern District of Ohio ordered, ‘(a)ssuming no map is approved by midnight on Saturday, May 28, we order Secretary of State Frank LaRose to push back Ohio’s state primaries to Aug. 2, 2022, and to implement Map 3 for this year’s elections only.’”

The Miami County Board of Elections adopted a resolution to accept the grant if and when it is approved by DeWine.

If funding is provided, some of it will be used for the purchase of a back up tabulation server and a Clear Access, ADA voting unit. Those purchases must be approved as allowable expenses in line with the grant. Additional funding would go toward the recruitment and pay of poll workers.

“Poll workers are our single greatest expense,” said Deputy Director Ian Ridgeway of the Miami County Board of Elections.

The registration deadline for the Aug. 2 primary is July 5, 2022, at 9 p.m. For more information on how to become a poll worker, visit: https://www.boe.ohio.gov/miami/

The next Board of Elections meeting will be held on July 27, 2022, at 5 p.m. at the Miami County Courthouse.