Board finalizes plans for May 8 election

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — Final preparations were approved for the May 8 primary election by the Shelby County Board of Elections during its Monday morning meeting.

The board agreed to place two M-100’s at both the Sidney VFW and Shelby County Fairgrounds and one M-100 at all other polling locations in the county. Five E-Pollbooks will be at the VFW, four at the fairgrounds and one each at all the other polling locations.

Another team of election night workers will be added at the board office to help speed up the process when ballots are returned at the end of the night. In previous years, there were three teams of two people each working.

“It will be a challenge to get another team,” said Donnie Chupp, deputy director.”But Pam (Kerrigan, director) and I will figure it out and get it done.”

Chris Gibbs, chairman, said the teams make sure all the information is in each precinct bag that is needed for certification.This includes making sure all provisional, unvoted, voted and soiled ballots are accounted for.

“It has to match what is sent out to each precinct,” said Gibbs.

All E-Pollbooks have been updated and tested for the upcoming election, said Kerrigan.

“The laptops were also updated,” said Chupp. The hardware was switched out with a solid state hard-drive. This will make the laptops last longer, work faster and be more efficient.

The board will meet May 5 at 8 a.m. to handout ballots and training for precinct workers. Then they will meet at 6 a.m. on May 8.

And while the May election isn’t over yet, the board is planning for the November election as the Newport Sportsman’s Club has notified the board that they no longer want to be a voting precinct.

“We need to consider changing it for November,” said Merrill Asher, board member. “They said it (polling location) was interfering with their activities on Tuesday night.”

Cynthian Township voters cast their votes at the sportsman’s club. There are more than 1,200 registered voters in the township.

The board agreed to look for a different location.

In other business, the board:

• Discussed creating a policy for sick days, vacation and compensation time for employees. The board doesn’t have a specific policy for comp time, said Gibbs. The board signed off on the county’s policy in the county handbook.

“We need due diligence so there’s not a problem,” said Gibbs.

• Learned the summer conference for board of elections will be June 19 in Columbus. All four board members, Kerrigan and Chupp will be attending the conference.

• Asked Kerrigan to find a four-drawer filing cabinet for board members to store their paperwork.

The board’s next meeting is tentatively set for Monday, May 21, at 7:30 a.m. for ballot certification.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.