SIDNEY—The Shelby County Board of Elections met Monday morning to audit the Aug. 2 special election results. Boards of Elections are required to choose one of three ways to audit the election results, by precinct, by polling location or by individual voting machine.
The Shelby County BOE decided to audit the election based on precincts. During its meeting on Aug. 15, the board randomly chose precincts until the total number of votes cast in those precincts equals at least 5% of the number of votes cast in Shelby County. The precincts chosen were City of Sidney 4C and Van Buren Township South.
The Secretary of State’s office determined three contests for the board to audit, the women’s Democratic candidate for State Central Committee, the male Republican candidate for State Central Committee and the Republican candidate for State Representative.
The audit was performed by two groups of two Polling Election Officials (PEO) that are equally split between the major political parties in the county. Each group was assigned a precinct to audit. The audit of the election requires the PEOs to hand-count the votes on each ballot to ensure that the hand-count matches the certified results from the voting and counting machines.
Monday morning’s audit determined that the electronic vote count from the certification in the two precincts matches the hand-count done by PEOs. The audit results will be submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office within the week.
After the audit, the board moved on to discuss where to hold early voting for the November election. In 2020, polling was held in the larger back room rather than in the smaller front office area of the Shelby County Board of Elections building to accommodate for COVID-19 protocols. The board is considering moving the polling location to the larger back room of the building, which will require additional funds to hire extra PEOs to observe the election and to prepare the room for polling. Despite requiring additional funds, moving the polling into a larger room will be better for high volume voting days and will be less distracting for BOE staff members as they continue their day-to-day jobs during the election process.
The board approved moving the polling location provided they discuss and authoriz new funds in a later meeting.
The board also discussed updates on purchasing a generator for the Shelby County Board of Elections building. A presentation will be made by Director Pamela Kerrigan during the board meeting on Monday, Sept. 12.