DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Election Day is over, but not for county boards of elections across Ohio. Elections officials said there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure Ohio’s election went smoothly and accurately.
Staff in the Montgomery County Board of Elections warehouse were still hard at work one day after the election.
“We are here every day of the year trying to make sure that we’re prepared, ready for the next election, whenever that is,” Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek said.
Voter turnout lower than expected
Rezabek said in Montgomery County, Election Day went smoothly, but turnout was lower than expected.
“I had been talking earlier that it would get up to 55%,” Rezabek said. We’re just at 50%, but we do have a number of provisional ballots. Then there is still some mail ballots coming in, as well as their absentees that we can count.”
that was the case around the miami valley. both miami county and greene county saw around 54% turnout.
“It’s actually less than we were expecting,” Greene County Board of Elections Director Alisha Lampert said. “We were expecting between 65 and 70.”
“Even throughout the day it felt like it was going to be a little higher than that with how busy and steady everything was at the polling locations,” Miami County Board of Elections Director Laura Bruns said.
Issues at the polls on Election Day
With 144 polling locations in Montgomery County, several issues were reported at the polls yesterday.
One that many voters may have experienced was long lines at the polls.
Rezabek said voters did not see less electronic machines than past elections, but his office did work this year to make sure the number of voters and electronic voting machines were distributed equitably across each precinct.
“We’ll look at those of how we can speed that up for the voters, but again, sometimes that happens when you have people who are engaged and come out to vote,” Rezabek said.
Another issue got the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office involved over a dispute at Faith Deliverance Church because of placement of campaign buffer zone marker.
Ohio law requires 100 feet, but those signs also have to be placed in a safe location.
“You put it in the closest location and sometimes that’s a little short, sometimes it’s a little long, but that’s just how it goes,” Rezabek said.
In this case, 2 NEWS was told Tuesday there was a miscalculation of distance at the polling place and no one was cited.
Rezabek also said some voters contacted him about electronic machines selecting a different candidate than they selected. However, Rezabek said none of those voters reported their ballot as incorrect between both review stages.
What’s left to do for elections workers
Elections officials said they still have more work to get done before this election is a wrap.
“It’s a huge relief,” Bruns said. “I’m looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep tonight, but other than that, we’re not going to be done with this until the middle of December.”
Staff still have provisional ballots and absentee ballots to verify and count. The official canvas doesn’t happen until later this month.
Boards of elections will also go through an assessment to see what went well and what they can improve on in future elections.