SIDNEY – The Shelby County Board of Elections certified and accepted the final ballots for the May special election during its Monday morning meeting on March 15.
The May 4, 2021, special election will only have two issues on ballots for voters to consider, said Director Pam Kerrigan. The first issue is an earned income tax levy for the Sidney City School District, and the second is a property tax levy for the Houston Ambulance District. Twenty-one of the county’s 35 precincts will be open for the May special election.
Early in-person voting was determined to be held in the Board of Elections’ front lobby beginning April 6 continuing until election day, when it then is held in voters’ precincts. Because it is a special election, the board anticipates a smaller turn out with only about 20% of voters coming out.
Voters have until 9 p.m. on April 5 to register to vote at the Shelby County Board of Elections’ office. Voters may also register online or at a Motor Vehicles Bureau.
An approval was reached for the policy and procedures for military ballots coming from overseas electronically. Kerrigan said they needed to put in writing how to process the ballots that are changed into physical ballots and fed into polling machines — all in the presence of both Republican and Democrat representatives.
In other business, Kerrigan reported a new railing will be installed within the next week on the east side of the Board of Elections’ office building along Miami Avenue. The change will make the area ADA compliant. Quotes for the work still needs to be approved by the commissioners and the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office before settling on the final cost. The funds for the project is coming from the Help America Vote Act grant.
Also discussed was 2021 pending budget issues, as the budget is smaller this year than the 2020 budget. Kerrigan expressed concern for potential unexpected expenses or unknowns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it could affect the budget.
“We are just really keeping a close eye on (the budget) this year because we are probably going to be, in the November election, using all of our budget funds. Month to month we are keeping a pretty close tab on that,” she said.
The board is continuing to work on a business continuity plan to address emergency preparedness and facilities continuity in the instance of disruption. It is mandatory as a result of the Ohio Secretary of State becoming a division of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
The Shelby County Board of Elections’ building is prepared for the upcoming fire inspection follow-up visit. Some emergency lights and expired fire extinguishers needed replaced. Also firefighters needed to obtain a key to be able to enter a new door inside of the secured building in the case of an emergency.
The board also approved:
• Policy and procedures for public records requests. The board of elections follows the county’s policy on record requests, but in addition it also requires to receive a request for public information in writing for the board’s record.
• The allocation of voting equipment to the precincts for the May special election; 17 E-pollbooks, 10 DS200, and seven expressvotes machines will be used.
• A rental agreement for a polling location at The Center.
Kerrigan also noted the board will notify families in the Sidney City School district who live in Logan County of where they are to vote in Shelby County on the school levy issue.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for April 19 at 10 a.m. at the Board of Elections office.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.