MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Board of Elections reconvened for what was supposed to be its primary election meeting on Tuesday and reflected on the series of events that moved the primary to June 2 due to the Ohio Department of Health order to close the polls due to COVID-19 exposure risks.
The Miami County Board of Elections staff provided the Secretary of State’s directives the office received at 11 p.m. Monday — seven hours before the polls were set to open.
Per current information provided by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, in-person election day voting will occur on June 2, 2020.
The board provided an email from Amanda Grandjean, director of Elections and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, which detailed how the decision to move the primary was made due to the threat it posed to Ohioans. Ohio Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton used her authority to order the polling places to be closed.
Director Laura Bruns said signs were placed on each polling location notifying voters of the closure. Bruns also said there are still a lot of questions still pending the Secretary of State’s direction. Bruns and deputy director Ian Ridgeway said although each polling location was set to be staffed, approximately half of its poll workers, many of them elderly, had backed out of helping due to the health concerns. Bruns said she did receive many phone calls from those in the community seeking to help.
“This is a good community, a good county,” Bruns said.
Ridgeway said the board will continue to seek poll workers for the June 2 Primary. The board approved to pay its voting location managers and to pay poll workers their educational stipend. The board also passed a resolution to “strongly suggest” gloves and safety measures be used for staff handling materials from the public.
Chairman Dave Fisher and other board members also made various comments commending the staff for its professional handling of the unprecedented decision to move the Primary date.
Bruns said more than 3,517 voters participated in the in-person early voting sessions and around 700-800 mail-in ballots had been received.
The Secretary of State’s directive includes:
• Boards of elections were to accept hand delivered absentee ballots until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and to receive absentee ballots returned by mail postmarked by March 16.
• Boards of elections are prohibited from tabulating and reporting any results until the close of polls June 2.
• Boards of elections are prohibited from processing any new voter registrations for the June 2 presidential primary. The Feb. 18 voter registration deadline remains in effect.
• Absentee ballots must be postmarked by June 1 and received no later than June 12 to be counted.
• Boards of elections can begin the official canvass of the primary on Saturday, June 23 and must be completed by July 3.
• Campaign finance deadline has been adjusted to July 10.
• To request an absentee ballot, the registered voter must make the request by May 26, 2020. You can find an absentee request form at https://www.boe.ohio.gov/comoh/Absentee_Request_11-A.pdf