Shelby County certifies general election

By Blythe Alspaugh - [email protected]

SIDNEY — A provisional ballot caused some complications with certifying the Nov. 2 general election in Shelby County.

The Shelby County Board of Elections met Monday, Nov. 15, to certify the general election and ran into a roadblock concerning a provisional ballot cast by a voter who voted in the wrong precinct. Director Pam Kerrigan and Deputy Director Collin Claywell recommended the ballot be rejected due to the voter casting their ballot in the wrong precinct.

The voter in question had a change of address that was not reflected on their paperwork and was directed by a poll worker to vote in a different polling place when they initially went to vote on election day. Had the voter cast their ballot at the original polling place they had gone to on election day, their ballot would not have been recommended for rejection by the staff of the Board of Elections.

Board members debated for over a half hour on whether the ballot should be rejected, with Jim Thompson arguing that the error was on part of the poll worker and not the voter. Another part of the discussion was the fact that the voter in question never signed their provisional ballot.

A motion to reject the board staff’s recommendation to reject the ballot in question failed in a 2-2 vote, with Douglas Pence and James Kerg voting against the motion, and Merill Asher and Thompson voting for the motion.

The ballot was eventually rejected after a motion was made to revise the reason for rejecting the ballot be due to the voter’s failure to sign the provisional ballot.

“I hope this is a very good illustration for the public that even though this ballot has no impact on any election results in Shelby County, how important each voter’s efforts to vote — right or wrong, good or bad — is extremely important to the Board of Elections of Shelby County,” Kerg said.

In total, the board had 54 provisional ballots to consider—of those votes, 49 were accepted and five were rejected. Four of the ballots that were rejected were due to the voters not being registered to vote in the state of Ohio. The board unanimously voted to accept the 49 provisional ballots and reject the four ballots from unregistered voters. The fifth ballot that was rejected was the provisional ballot with no signature.

The board also unanimously accepted three absentee ballots that met the election deadline.

One of the ballots that was tabulated had an overvote in one of the races, with the voter casting four votes in a category that had a limit of three. The board unanimously voted to reject the overvote category of the ballot but accept the rest of the ballot.

A total of 6,559 ballots were cast in Shelby Count and were certified by the Shelby County Board of Elections.

In the Sidney School Board race, a total of 4,799 votes were cast. Zacarhy Bosslet was elected with 1,407 votes and Gregory Dickman was elected with 1,504 votes. Douglas Jackson received 497 votes, Linda Meininger received 817 votes and Jason Schaffner received 574 votes.

Daniel Aikin and Jim tied for a council seat on Jackson Center Village Council with 145 votes each. A recount will be held by polling election officials on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 10 a.m. Board members still had to declare a winner before the recount and declared Gooding the official winner by pulling a name from a hat. If the recount comes up in a tie, Gooding will remain the winner. Also elected to Jackson Center Village Council was Leisha Elchert with 199 votes, Jesse Fark with 194 votes and Quentin Reese with 161 votes. A total of 844 votes were cast in the Jackson Center Village Council race.

The audit for the Nov. 2 election will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at the Shelby County Board of Elections.

By Blythe Alspaugh

[email protected]

Reach the writer at [email protected]

Reach the writer at [email protected]