Board of Elections considers polling location contingency plans


SIDNEY – The Shelby County Board of Elections is considering contingency options for a pair of polling locations for the November 2021 general election.

During the May 4 board meeting, the Board of Elections learned sewer and drainage improvements are scheduled at the fairgrounds this upcoming fall. That work could disrupt traffic flow and parking at the fairgrounds polling location.

The board also has concerns about the Lockington United Methodist Church polling location and its availability for future elections. In November 2020 the church canceled in-person worship because of reduced attendance and volunteer support.

The board agreed it would continue monitoring any developments with both polling locations and will consider contingency plans in case either site isn’t feasible for elections in November.

Deputy Director Collin Claywell said May 6 is the anticipated start date for pothole repair, curb removal, sealcoating and restriping of the east parking lot at the Board of Elections office. The project will be paid for with Help America Vote Act grant funds.

Director Pam Kerrigan said there has been problems with a panic button at the office, which will need to be replaced. HAVA grant funding should cover those costs, she said.

The Board of Elections is looking into reimbursing the county for its monetary contributions for the automatic door that was installed at the front of the Board of Elections office to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. HAVA grant funds likely could be used to reimburse the county.

The board also is looking into whether it can use HAVA grant funds for upgrades to its tabulating equipment. Election Systems & Software said the upgrades probably won’t be completed until 2022, but the board wants to see if it can pay for them now with grant funds.

The HAVA grant has a deadline of May 31 for expenditures to be submitted.

The board recently added a light to the front of the office.

Two flags the Board of Elections had near its office have gone missing. The flags, which are required to be 100 feet from the office during elections to signify a zone where campaigning is prohibited, had been placed in rubber traffic cones.

The board will see if it can get permission to attach flags to existing utility poles. Upon utility poles they would be less likely to blow away or be stolen, board members said, and they also would look better.

The board authorized Kerrigan to seek a credit card, which the director and deputy director would be authorized to use, for small purchases of supplies. Previously the board used a county account at Walmart.

The board authorized Kerrigan to seek a credit card with a $1,000 limit, stating any transaction costing more than $500 would need approval from a board member. Approval also will be needed from the county commissioners to set up a credit card account.

The board authorized remaking one ballot for the May 4 special election that was unable to be read by the tabulating machines.

Bills of $140.05 from US Bank for a copier lease and $932 from Ohio Association of Election Officials for annual dues were approved for payment.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 17.

By Kyle Shaner

[email protected]

Reach the writer at [email protected] or 937-538-4824.

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