After losing 6,000 votes, Miami County holds mock election with new equipment

Miami Valley News

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – During last year’s general election, the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office reported that over 6,000 votes went uncounted in Miami County.

Thursday, the Miami County Board of Elections held a mock election designed to test and demonstrate the new voting system being used in upcoming elections. The process involves new equipment as well as new vote collection procedures.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Chairman of the Board of Elections David Fisher, and Director of Miami County Board of Elections Laura Bruns were all present for the demonstration. 

During the walk-through, Director Bruns walked LaRose and staff through the steps taken to record the votes after they have been cast. 

In the Web Exclusive below, view the full walk-through, and see what steps the county takes to protect votes:

Officials said that the missing votes did not affect any election results. 

The error led to the firing of the previous Director of Board of Elections. It also led to the Board of Elections being put under administrative oversight. 

The 6,282 votes were part of early voting, and while they were cast on the same machines used on election day, for early voting, there is a separate process that must be done when shutting those machines down to count the votes.

That process was not followed because the board staff members tasked with shutting the machines down were new and the correct steps were not written down.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a press conference earlier this year that the mistake was not malicious but was “unacceptable human error.”

The biggest change that Miami County residents will see is a new paper-ballot system that will replace 470 touchscreen voting machines.

The machines have already been tested at previous mock elections at the Piqua library as well as the Miami County Fair. 

At a press conference following the mock election, Director Bruns said that she was happy the mock elections were occuring. 

“It gives us a chance to try everything out,” Bruns said. “This is a brand new system for us. We look forward to showing the voters of Miami County that we are going to count every single one of their ballots.”

In the Web Exclusive below, view the entire press conference with Secretary of State LaRose, Director of Board of Elections Laura Bruns and Chairman of Board of Elections David Fisher:

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