Greene elections board discusses November problems with state officials

The Secretary of State’s office is working with the county to refine their election plan going forward.

The Ohio Director of Elections met with the Greene County Board of Elections on Monday to remedy some administrative problems with the November 2021 election, including mailers sent to voters that had an incorrect election date, and a delay in finalizing results the night of the election.

County Board of Elections Director Alisha Beeler said issues with write-in candidates on the evening of Nov. 2 led to the delay in finalizing results on election night. Technical errors and miscommunication with the ballot vendor caused ballots with write-in candidates to be held up during the adjudication process.

“These were minor mistakes that are being remedied,” Beeler said. “We want everyone on the ballot that needs to be and that legally should be. We want as many people as possible on the ballot because that is their right. It’s not about who wins, it’s about the election itself and we just want that to go smoothly.”

The Greene County Board of Elections is required to submit an election administration plan to the Secretary of State’s office. The two bodies are currently in the process of refining that plan in order to give clear instructions to election staff and poll workers for conducting future elections.

Postcards were sent to Greene County voters in October to alert them of a polling place change but had the election date incorrectly listed as Nov. 3, rather than Nov. 2. The Ohio Secretary of State’s office is working with the county to establish procedures for proofreading, in addition to voting machine testing and candidate certification.

“We’ve found out in the last year or two that (proofing) is a major hole for various boards,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Amanda Grandjean said Monday.

The Greene County Board of Elections has eight staff members, four Democrats and four Republicans, in addition to seasonal workers. Poll workers and elections staff typically see high turnover rates, and reviewing and codifying procedures in Greene County are expected to smooth out some of the issues experienced over time.

“It’s such important work and you will leave the institution and the democratic process itself in Greene County better by doing it,” Grandjean told the board Monday.

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