Board certifies Nov. 6 election

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — The Nov. 6 General Election is officially in the books.

The Shelby County Board of Elections certified the Nov. 6 vote during its meeting Monday, Nov. 19. Abesentee and provisional ballots were included in the count to make the results official.

Deputy Director Donnie Chupp told the board that 72 absentee ballots were received following the election. Of those ballots, 49 were received with a postmark of Nov. 5 or before. Nov. 5 was the deadline for those votes to be counted if the ballot was mailed to the board of elections.

Another four ballots were received after the election but had a postmark of later than the Nov. 5 deadline. Six ballots’ postmarks were unreadable and 13 ballots had no postmark at all.

The board approved the 49 ballots with the correct postmark and the six ballots with the unreadable postmarks. According to the local board’s policy, if the postmark is unreadable, then the board can accepted the ballot.

The four ballots with a postmark of after Nov. 5 were rejected.

After a lengthy discussion — and comparing local and Secretary of State guidelines — the board rejected the 13 ballots which had no postmark on it. The Secretary of State guidelines state if there is no postmark on the envelop then it must be delivered to the board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Board Chairman Chris Gibbs cast the lone no vote on rejecting the 13 ballots.

Gibbs said the Postal Service is not “giving us consistant, viable marks. We might have to revise our policy, but that’s not for today.”

“We have to reject the ones with a lack of a postmakr because of the Secretary of State’s directive,” said member Jon Baker.

The board originally rejected six ballots because they thought those were the envelops with no postmark on them. After further discussion, it was discovered that the information was incorrectly relayed to them and the board rescinded its orignial motion.

Gibbs said the office staff has been instructed — for future elections — that every absentee ballot which comes in the mail should have a staff member’s initial on it indicting it was received from the Postal Service.

Chupp told the board there were 226 provisional ballots cast on Election Day, All of the people were registered to vote he said. The person had either moved to a different residence in Shelby County and hadn’t notified the board of elections; were inactive and removed from the voting list; or had a name change.

Of those provisional ballots:

• 57 were registered to vote in other counties but had moved to Shelby County. Staff verified with other counties that the person didn’t vote in that county. The ballots were approved

• 18 voters were sent absentee ballots but voted at the polls instead. None of them had sent back their absentee ballot. The ballots were approved

• 1 person voted at another precinct at the correct polling location. The ballot was remade to reflect the correct precinct.

• 3 ballots met the directive for the voter to be placed back on the voting list. They had been removed for lack of voting and had to be reinstated to the list.

• 4 ballots went through the M100 scanners on Election Day instead of being placed in the provisional envelopes.

• 35 people who cast their votes were not registered to vote in Shelby County nor any place elese in Ohio. The ballots were rejected.

• 2 ballots were rejected because the people voted both via absentee ballot and provisionally. The two incidents will be sent to the Shelby County Prosecutor’s Office for his consideration of action against the voters.

• 4 ballots had incomplete information on the provisional envelope and were rejected.

• 4 voters were registered in Shelby County and voted in Shelby County. However, they stated they lived somewhere other than Shelby County. The ballots were rejected.

• 14 ballots were received by members of the military via email in accordance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The ballots were remade and accepted. Six absentee ballots from military members were received and included in the absentee count.

After the addition of 73 absentee and 306 provisional ballots were tallied, the results of the election were unchanged. A total of 18,933 people cast their votes.

The board will perform the General Election audit on Nov. 28 at 7:30 a.m.

In other business, the board:

• Learned the 2019 budget requests will be presented to the Shelby County Commissioners Tuesday, Nov. 20.

• Accepted the bills which were filed for audit.

• Went into executive session to discuss personnel evaluations. No action was taken.

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 a.m.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.