BOE forwards double vote to prosecutor


MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections reviewed nearly 400 provisional ballots that revealed one voter attempted to cast two provisional ballots — one for each party.

Director Laura Bruns had the 395 ballots each sorted in their various categories for review for the March 17 Primary, which Gov. Mike DeWine cancelled in-person voting the day before the polls were to open. That action then prompted the state to utilize an all-mail absentee ballot system. Unofficial results were calculated on April 28 and are set to be certified on Monday.

Bruns shared that one voter had visited the early voting center at the Hobart Center of Government on March 8 to request a ballot and needed a change of address. That voter then cast a Republican provisional ballot. Two days later, that same voter cast a Democratic provisional ballot.

“Let me get this straight, they voted one party ballot and then a couple days later they came back and voted the other party ballot — the opposite party,” Board of Elections Chairman Dave Fisher said. Board member Rob Long asked if the voter’s address was the same and Bruns said yes.

Fisher said some people want to participate in the county contested races, but still want vote their party line, yet “unfortunately you have to pick and choose.”

Fisher then requested the issue to be forwarded to the Miami County Prosecutor.

“That’s illegal. That’s not allowed,” Fisher said. “That’s attempting … not saying they are doing it maliciously, but that concerns me.” The board then voted to reject the provisional ballots and forward them on for the prosecutor to review.

Member Audrey Gillespie, who was not physically present but attended via video conference, commented that she wondered if it was done on purpose to see if the elections office staff would catch it.

Bruns said nearly 900 ballots that were requested were not cast.

A variety of issues with ballot applications and ballot issues were fielded by the board of elections. The following 190 provisional ballots were accepted by the board of election and will be counted: 97 provisional ballots with change of address and precinct changes; 30 voters with name changes; 36 voters who were registered to another county, but did not cast a ballot in that county, but were registered to vote; three voters who came to the office to vote because their requested absentee ballot had not arrived in the mail by April 28; one vote whose registration was purged, yet stayed in the same precinct; 22 voters with incomplete applications such as wrong date of birth, but signed their ballots; one early voter who was provided the wrong precinct ballot, but will have it transferred and counted.

The following ballots were rejected and will not count: one voter failed to provide identification information; four failed to enter address, failed to sign or only provided a signature and no other information; one ballot was received, but the voter has since been deceased; one envelope had no ballot inside; one voter with varying addresses on application and ballot; one voter provided another address in Butler County; 17 voters were provided provisional ballots on April 28 at the board office, but had failed to request an application by the April 25 deadline; 32 voters were found unregistered, many first time voters; and 39 ballots were received after Election Day without postmarks or verifiable date information.

Bruns said addresses will be updated in the system for those with address issues. Those whose failed to register and tried to vote in the primary will now be registered to vote in the next election.

There were 17,650 votes cast in the Primary election, according to Bruns.

By Melanie Yingst

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