Deputy supervisors added to election day process

By Blythe Alspaugh - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Polling location supervisors in Shelby County will have assistance from deputy supervisors beginning with the May primary election.

Adding the role of a deputy supervisor was previously discussed at the Shelby County Board of Elections’ March meeting. According to Deputy Director Collin Claywell, the role of deputy supervisor would help with assisting polling location supervisors to alleviate election day difficulties such as rounding up poll worker supplies in addition to expedite the closing of polls at the end of election day, and would save selected locations up to 30 minutes of time in wrapping up election day operations. Additionally, the deputy supervisor would assist with ballot reconciliation and accounting process throughout the day, as well as transports of ballots, payroll forms, ethics sheets and poll books.

The position of deputy supervisor would be assigned to the Shelby County Fairgrounds and Lehman Catholic High School polling locations, and would be of the opposite political party of the polling location supervisor.

“They’re working together to accomplish the goal of making sure that that entire polling location is fully operational and staffed the entire day,” Claywell said.

The addition of the deputy supervisor position was unanimously approved at the board of elections meeting, held Monday morning.

“It saves us a lot of time down here, reconciling at night because even some of the other precincts, when they come in, that paperwork is not accurate, and so we have to deal with that on the spot and it takes a little longer, and that backs everything up out here. The more we can control out there, that happens at the voting locations, the better off we are,” Board Member Merill Asher said.

Interim reporting throughout election night will also be available on the board of elections website during the May 3 election, and was unanimously approved. Director Pam Kerrigan stated that the board of elections was required to report election night numbers to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office every hour following the closure of polling locations, regardless of how many precincts have reported. The same data would be reported on the board of elections website for the public to view as election results come in.

“We have the means and the staff (…) to make this possible on election night,” Claywell said.

With all polling locations closing at 7:30 p.m. on election night, the first report of election night numbers would come from absentee ballots and be reported at 7:30 p.m., with precinct numbers being updated throughout the night as they come in, as well as voting totals. The unofficial election night results is anticipated to be posted in full on the website by 10:30 p.m. on election night.

“We’re encouraged to (post results) by the Secretary of State’s office. Other counties do it, and I think that’s where the question presents itself,” Kerrigan said.

The following agenda items were unanimously approved by the board at Monday’s board of elections meeting:

• The allocation of voting equipment to precincts for the May 3 election;

• COVID-19 supplies such as masks, face shields, individual-use pens and sanitizing equipment will be provided for precinct election officials to use as they see fit;

• The use of Electronic Systems & Software e-poll books will begin in January 2023; and

• Updates to the policy and procedure regarding provisional voting was made in regard to policies that were outdated.

Additionally, the board approved the next official meeting of the Shelby County Board of Elections to be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 25. The meeting will include the certification of the May primary election.

By Blythe Alspaugh

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825