TROY – Today, Secretary of State Frank LaRose released the Report on Requirements and Recommendations, detailing the findings and next steps regarding the vote discrepancy for the 2018 General Election in Miami County.
"This is meant to be an opportunity to recognize the mistakes that were made and to make sure that they don’t happen again. If they follow the processes that we have given them, along with the requirements that we have put in place, then I have every confidence that each vote will be counted in Miami County," said LaRose. "Every single vote matters. No one should ever miss their chance to vote and we are going to make sure that the people of Miami County can do so confidently."
The Executive Summary is as follows:
[The report details] the findings as well as the required and recommended next steps as a result of the vote count discrepancy that occurred at the Miami County Board of Elections during the November 2018 General Election. After conducting an investigation, there is no evidence that indicates anything unlawful or malicious played any part in what transpired at the Board. Nor was there any technological or machine malfunction. Instead, inadequate human processes and preparation caused the failure of the Board and its staff to properly download and tally in-person absentee votes cast in the election. Specifically, Board staff members were tasked with shutting down the machines used for in-person absentee voting. These machines are the same as the machines used on Election Day, however, they require an additional step for processing in-person absentee votes as compared to the machines used on Election Day.
Board staff members were new to the task of shutting down in-person absentee voting machines and not provided with the proper training, nor given any documentation necessary to understand the appropriate process for shutting down the machines in question. Because of this, Board staff members did not complete the required additional step of downloading the votes cast before turning off the machines. In light of this failure, Secretary LaRose placed the Board on administrative oversight on January 25, 2019 and his office had already begun instituting necessary reforms within the Board which, if followed properly, will ensure this situation will not happen again. This Report includes those additional steps the Board is required to complete before the Board can be removed from administrative oversight.
Finally, all county Boards of Elections should read this Report and its Requirements and Recommendations in order to ensure they are taking all necessary steps to protect the votes cast by Ohioans