March 17 Primary Election finally certified


By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com



Practicing social distancing while discussing the ballots received for the March 17 Primary Election are, left to right, Jim Kerg, Jim Thompson, Doug Pence, Merrill Asher, Deputy Director Donnie Chupp and Director Pam Kerrigan.

Practicing social distancing while discussing the ballots received for the March 17 Primary Election are, left to right, Jim Kerg, Jim Thompson, Doug Pence, Merrill Asher, Deputy Director Donnie Chupp and Director Pam Kerrigan.


SIDNEY — It was the election that had no ending. But Tuesday it finally came to an end with the certification the election by the Shelby County Board of Election.

It was a long road getting there.

First, the March 17 Primary election was halted by Dr. Amy Acton because of the coronavirus pandemic. Legislators then declared the election would be held April 28 but that all voting had to be done via a mail-in ballot.

Finally, after votes were cast, the Shelby County Board of Elections members gathered Monday morning at 10 a.m. to certify the election. After more than 4 hours, the board recessed as a software glitch halted the counting of the ballots.

At 4:30 p.m. Monday, the board reconvened to certify the results and pull precinct numbers for the required audit. After 5:30 p.m. Director Pam Kerrigan and Deputy Director Donnie Chupp informed the board they were still having problems with getting the election results.

“We’re not where we need to be,” said Kerrigan. “We know the batch were this (problem) is happening. We need to start over in the morning.”

“We need to start fresh in the morning,” said Chupp, who told the board results would be ready for the meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved the certification of the election. No changes in any contested race nor issues were changed.

A total of 9,069 registered voters cast their ballots for the election. That was a 28,53% of registered voters.

A total of 6,827 Republicans cast their votes, while 1,795 Democrats voted.

In the Shelby County Sheriff’s race, Ji9m Frye was declared the winner with 4,334 votes (63,44%). Mark Jordan received 2,498 votes (36.56%).

Frye will be unopposed in the November General Election.

the final tally for the Sidney City Schools tax levy was 2,687 against the levy amd 2,121 for the levy,

Prior to running all the ballots cast in the March 17 election, the board accepted and rejected various ballots which didn’t meet qualifications.

Uncountable/rejected were:

• Four ballots which unreadable postmark dates. All ballots had to be postmarked by April 27 in order to be counted in the election.

• Five ballots that had no postmarks on the envelopes.

• One provisional ballot which was signed by the person’s power of attorney. The power of attorney should have filed paperwork with the board of elections prior to signing the ballot. The ballot was signed April 26, while the power of attorney paperwork was filed May 5.

• Thirty absentee ballots were not accepted before they were not postmarked by the April 27 deadline. The were postmarked April 28 and later.

• Five ballots which were not filled out as required. the board of elections contacted the individuals to get the information corrected, but the registered voter didn’t respond to the request.

• 31 ballots were rejected because the person voting was not registered anywhere in the state of Ohio.

• Four provisional ballots were rejected as they were incomplete and had missing information.

Accepted were…

• A total of 197 provisional ballots which included:

– 141 people moved within the county or changed their last name;

– 15 countable provisionals per instruction of HB197

26 people who moved to Shelby County and didn’t change their registration. They hadn’t voted anywhere else in Ohio on Election Day.

– Seven ballots whose registered voter had been purged from the system because they hadn’t voted within the required amount of time. All seven people had voted provisionally and hand’t changed their address since the last time they had voted. All seven were accepted and counted.

– 6 who were mailed an absentee ballot but voted provisional instead

– 1 17-year-old voter who moved to Shelby County, ballot was remade

– Voter accidentally merged into Darke County due to record error.

A total of 116 absentee ballots were receive and postmarked prior to April 27. The board had to remake 19 ballots because some were cast by 17-year-old voters and they couldn’t vote on the issues and others were unreadable.

A total of 197 provisional ballots were approved. Another 137 absentee ballots were approved. The total approved was 334.

Precincts were drawn for the required audit which will take place Wednesday, May 20, at 210 .m. More than 450 ballots were required for the audit. Precincts drawn were 10 (Sidney 4th Ward A), 16 (Cynthian West) and 21 (Green Township) for a total of 534 ballots to be audited.

Practicing social distancing while discussing the ballots received for the March 17 Primary Election are, left to right, Jim Kerg, Jim Thompson, Doug Pence, Merrill Asher, Deputy Director Donnie Chupp and Director Pam Kerrigan.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/05/web1_ElectionCertification.jpgPracticing social distancing while discussing the ballots received for the March 17 Primary Election are, left to right, Jim Kerg, Jim Thompson, Doug Pence, Merrill Asher, Deputy Director Donnie Chupp and Director Pam Kerrigan.

By Melanie Speicher

mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.