Only a few days remain until Nov. 8, general Election Day. It seems that every time I open the paper or turn on the news, I see multiple stories about the upcoming election. And many of those stories are focused on the administration of elections, not just about the races and candidates that are on the ballot. It seems that people are much more interested in how elections are run than in the past.
Those of us who do this job for a living are more than happy about this new interest in our line of work. The bipartisan teams of Ohio election officials work hard all year long to ensure that all eligible voters are able to cast their ballots securely and those ballots are counted accurately. Election officials across the state have been working diligently to cross every single item off of our election preparation checklists. In Miami County this checklist starts 120 days before Election Day, and this year we had two countdowns going consecutively due to the unexpected August primary election.
At this point, many voters in Miami County have already cast their ballots, either through the mail or at our early vote center. We expect to be very busy this weekend, with early voting hours on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Voters who wish to cast a ballot on Monday must be in line no later than 2 p.m. The cutoff is earlier on this day so that we have time to update all of our electronic poll books with the names of voters who already voted, and prepare all of our polling locations for Election Day.
We do ask that voters treat Election Day workers with respect. These civic-minded workers do their best to run the election efficiently with the goal of providing every voter with a positive experience. They arrive at the polling location early on Election Day to ensure that everything is ready for those voters who wish to vote first thing in the morning, and remain after the polls close to ensure that the records of voters reconcile with the ballots that were cast. Please join me in thanking them for all of their hard work. The Board and staff could not conduct a successful election without these dedicated helpers!
The days after Election Day will continue to be busy for us here at the board office. We will be working to reconcile all of the precincts’ vote totals, processing the additional absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day, investigating all of the provisional ballots cast, and preparing for the official canvass on Nov. 22. Even after the official canvass is complete, we still have items on that checklist to complete before finalizing the election. Any race that has a result of less than one half of one percent must be automatically recounted. An audit is also conducted after every election, where results are hand counted to verify that the certified results are accurate. This work continues into the month of December, and in January we will start over with a new checklist for the primary election in May of 2023!
We are looking forward to a high turnout for this midterm election. Please continue to follow us on social media and look for reliable information on our website www.boe.ohio.gov/miami. And remember to thank your pollworkers!
The writer, Laura Bruns, is the director of the Miami County Board of Elections. Bruns can be reached at [email protected].