Ohio Secretary of State speaks on Miami County vote discrepancy investigation

Local News

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Secretary of State Frank LaRose was in Troy giving an update on the investigation into the Miami County Board of Elections.

His office found that over 6,000 early votes went uncounted in the county during the November 6, 2018, general election.

The Board of Elections was initially contacted about the issue on December 20, after reviewing the election results.

After realizing the oversight, the Miami Couny Board of Elections did tally the votes, but it did not change the outcome of the election.

During the conference, Secretary LaRose said their investigation showed no malicious intent, instead it was “unacceptable human error.”

He explains 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 you must do 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.

“I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as an easy mistake to make, but if you don’t have a checklist in front of you, if you’re not properly trained, if you don’t have the procedures written down, then yeah that mistake can be made,” said LaRose.

LaRose said in light of this failure, and to make sure it does not happen again, they have placed the Board of Elections under administrative oversight.

That means they will be monitored by the state until LaRose feels they have made all steps to correct the issue.

Part of that is completing a number of requirements and recommendations put in place by LaRose and his office.

You can read the full report below:

Miami County Board of Election Chairman, Dave Fischer, said they have already reviewed 64 policies with the state.

“We’re going to be using the old equipment in this election going forward in the primary,” said Fischer. “We’re hoping to have the new system in by November, but we’re still going to be using our original system. We know what that step is now. We understand that we missed a step that started this whole snowball down a hill.”

Fischer said in November, the Board had a suspicion something happened with tabulating the votes, but they were assured by the former Director of Elections everything went smoothly.

In January, the director was fired.

LaRose said he does not anticipate any further changes to the Board.

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