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Five County Boards of Elections meet to discuss election, exhaustion

The auditorium in the lower levels of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Garrett Reese
The auditorium in the lower levels of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Five county boards of elections from the Miami Valley met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the upcoming general election. The directors and deputy directors from the Montgomery County, Clinton County, Greene County, Miami County, and Warren County Board of Elections were there.

They met in the auditorium in the basement of the Montgomery County Board of Elections to give updates on how each of their boards have been preparing to make this upcoming general election safe and secure.

Getting everyone together also allowed them to share a common feeling: exhaustion.

2022 has been a long and hard year for Ohio boards of elections. Instead of the regular 2 elections, they have had to deal with 3 elections – each fraught with their own issues.

Last minute changes to ballots, supply chain issues causing ballot paper shortages, and individuals questioning election security. Add to that the issues with redistricting Ohio maps, and you have a recipe for stress.

“It’s created a…crazy couple of years,” Brian Sleeth, the director of the Warren County Board of Elections, said. “You know, I think election officials in general are ready for a break after this election cycle.”

The other directors and deputy directors sitting around him chuckle their weary agreement.

Despite this, these election officials were confident that this upcoming election would be safe and secure.

“Every one of these individuals up here are professionals,” Jeff Rezabeck, the director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said. “We take our job very seriously, and we want to make sure everything is accurate before it goes out.”

Leading up to this 5 county press conference, each board of elections had been hard at work getting prepared for the election.

Secure Elections Infographic from Sec. of State LaRose's office.
Secretary of State's Office
Secretary of State's Website
Secure Elections Infographic from Sec. of State LaRose's office.

Part of getting prepared is the logic and accuracy testing that all voting machines must undergo.

“Logic and accuracy testing is the first step that we do to prepare for Election Day,” Kenny Henning, liaison for Ohio Secretary of State, said. “All the machines are tested by bipartisan teams.”

Similarly, bipartisan teams will also be watching dropboxes for ballot drop-offs 24/7 once voting starts.

Bipartisan teams also work together to count all of the votes and to safely store and maintain ballots, machines, and election data.

All of this hard work, however, would be pointless if you are unable to vote.

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 11. In order to see if you are registered or to check your eligibility, you can visit the secretary of state’s website.

You can also check your polling location, check the status of your ballot if your county allows for ballot tracking, and more.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.