Board prepares for first Election Day with E-Pollbooks

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — With seven weeks left before the November election, the Shelby County Board of Election board members were given an update on the E-Pollbooks which will be used for the first time on Nov. 7.

Director Dawn Billing told the board procedures to be used for Election Day are still being finalized and will be ready for the board’s approval in October. She said there are several items which will be changing with the usage of the E-Pollbooks.

She shared a layout chart of the polling place at the Shelby County Fairgrounds, which has numerous precincts located in the building. Tables will the E-Pollbooks will be at the entrance inside the building. The voting booths will be around the walls by precinct as they were in the past.

The E-Pollbooks, she said, won’t be delivered to the precincts until after all the absentee ballots have been uploaded into the E-Pollbooks. She said the board will probably have to hire E-Pollbooks rovers to deliver the items to the polling places.

“It’s going to be trial and error,” said Billing. “Until we do it, we don’t know how it’s going to go. But I know I’m not comfortable sending the E-Pollbooks out0 early.”

There are 18 polling locations in Shelby County. At least four the locations will have more than two E-Pollbooks on election day.

“We’ll have from 2 p.m. (Monday, Nov. 6) to 6 a.m. (Tuesday, Nov. 7) to update the data,” said Chris Gibbs, board chairman.

Donnie Chupp, deputy director, said he and Billing spent time last week uploading information to the E-Pollbooks.

“We did 15 E-Pollbooks in about an hour or hour and 15 minutes,” said Chupp. “That was with us unpacking them, Dawn uploading the information and me repacking them.”

The board has 40 E-Pollbooks for the county’s elections. There are 35 voting precincts at the 18 polling locations.

The biggest change with the E-Pollbooks, said Billing, is that a person will use their driver’s license or state identification to check in at the E-Pollbooks table on election day. Each person will be given a right to vote slip which includes the precinct where they will be casting their vote.

Provisional ballots will be handled like they have been handled in the past, said Billing, except the person’s right to vote slip will state provisional ballot on it and they will go to the provisional table for voting instructions.

Training for poll workers on the E-Pollbooks will begin in October, said Billing. Training classes will be limited to 10 workers and letters will be sent to all poll workers asking them to sign up for training.

The board stressed that all voter information loaded into the E-Pollbooks does not go online. All information remains in house at the board of elections.

Billing said she will have the policy for E-Pollbooks procedures ready for the board to approve at its Oct. 16 meeting.

A motion for placement of M100s at polling places for the November election was approved. There will be two M100s each at the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Shelby County Fairgrounds and one each at all the other polling places.

Billing told the board that the VFW has sold its property but will remain in the building for 30 months. This will give the board time to find a new polling location.

Information on a conference in Columbus in January was also provided to the members.

The board approved an update for the petition instruction sheet. The instruction sheet is now in the same order as the petition calls for information.

The board approved bills which have been filed for audit. Bills include Barrett Brothers, voter ID cards, $348; County Commissioners, postage, $706.62; FedEx, return of petitions, $36.39; Barrett Brothers, absentee envelopes, $409.50; and US BankCorp, copier lease, $129.10.

An executive session was held to discuss building and security operations. No action was taken.

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 a.m. at the board office.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.