Early voting nears 6,000


By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com



SIDNEY — Nearly 6,000 Shelby County residents have already cast their vote for the Nov. 3 election.

Shelby County Board of Elections Director Pam Kerrigan shared the voting information Monday morning during the board of elections monthly meeting, which was held at the Shelby County Annex because in-person voting is being held at the board of elections’ meeting room. The totals were through Friday, Oct. 16.

“We are in week three of in-person voting,” said Kerrigan. “It’s going great. All the feedback we’ve received is positive. It;s going a lot better than I thought it would.”

So fair, 2,544 people have voted in-person at the board office.

Kerrigan said the office has received 5,977 requests thus fair for absentee ballots. The board has received 3,369 ballots back in their mail or dropped off at the board of elections.

She added that 136 ballot requests have been received from nursing home residents. Of those ballots, residents have returned 62 ballots.

The total ballots cast so fair is 5,975.

Board chairman Jim Kerg said he has received 22 phone calls about the in person voting. Twenty of them were positive about their experience, one person had a question about registering and the person wanted to gripe about something.

Kerrigan said the office is current on returning ballots to people who requested one. She said they have many provisional ballots, which isn’t unusual. The biggest mistake making it a provisional ballot is the person never changed their address at the board of elections if they had moved since the lat election

She added —compared to the 2017 presidential election — the office has already received as many in person and absentee ballots this year as it did four years ago.

“And we still have two weeks to go (in-person, absentee voting),” said Kerrigan. “I think we’ll be a lot busier during the next two weeks.”

Kerg said — he hopes — with all the voting prior to the election that election night won’t be as crazy” as it has been in the past.

Deputy Director Collin Claywell said the Secretary of State’s Office has been encouraging registered voters to cast their ballot prior to Election Day.

The board approved distribution of election equipment for the election. Additional e-pollbooks and DS200s are being placed at the Shelby County Fairgrounds, Lehman Catholic High School and Fort Loramie voting locations. Additional poll workers will be at all polling locations.

The Secretary of State wanted 50 percent more poll workers on the job on Election Day, said Claywell.

“Our goal was to have 210 poll workers,” he said. “We have 218 recruited and trained poll workers.”

Of those workers, he said, 23 of them are high school students.

Claywell thanked Anne Asher for her help in getting the volunteers trained for Election Day.

On election night, the in-person and absentee ballots will be processed as soon as the polls close at 7:30 p.m. Reports will be sent to the Secretary of State’s Office at 8 and 9 p.m., along with the final unofficial totals.

Claywell and Merrill Asher will review the layout for Election Day at the Shelby County Fairgrounds prior to Nov. 3.

Both Kerrigan and Claywell said the local board is in compliance with security and safety measures for Election Day. If something happens on Election Day, law enforcement and the board of elections will be notified.

Sidney Police and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies will increase their patrols around polling locations on Election Day.

Monday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. is the deadline for for a registered voter to cast an in-person vote at the board of elections. After 2 p.m., the person must vote on Election Day at their precinct.

People can continue to drop off absentee ballots until 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

On election night, no members of the public will be allowed in the building unless they are a certified observer or member of the media.

The Secretary of State’s directives 2020-21 and 2020-22 were discussed. It was agreed a link for the directives will b placed on the board’s website.

The board approved the bills which have been filed for audit.

The board’s next meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 6 a.m. to officially open the polling locations.

The board’x next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m. at which time they will certify the November election. A meeting on Monday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m. will be held to perform an audit of the election.

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By Melanie Speicher

mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.