The Miami County Board of Elections agreed Tuesday, June 27, to contract with a company to bill for elections services provided during the May 2 primary/special election and participate in a pilot program for ballot synchronization.

The agreement is with Maximus Consulting Services Inc. of Richmond, Va., to handle what are termed election “charge backs” to local political subdivisions with issues on the ballot. The service will cost $1,375, an expense that will be included in the bill to the political subdivisions. The charge back includes expenses such as the cost for poll workers and for set up and removal of voting machines.

Elections Director Bev Kendall said calculating the charge backs is time consuming for staff and the consultants are familiar with every item that can be included in the bill.

 The board discussed the need for the contract and proposed options for a longer-term agreement before having member Ryan King talk via phone with a Maximus representative. The board then decided to see contract for the primary and then determine whether to use the services in the future.

The board also approved an agreement with Ballot Sync to participate in a pilot project to test a system to ensure all ballot issues that should appear on ballots in more than one county appear accurately on all of those ballots. Participation in the pilot project is at no cost.

“It is a safety net to help follow the law,” said board member Audrey Gillespie.

A requirement for a system is included in pending state legislation, said Luke Scott, deputy elections director.

Board Chairman Dave Fisher noted the county does have overlapping issues on a regular basis such as school issues from the Tecumseh schools and vocational schools.

In other business, the board discussed planning for a vendor day with election equipment vendors. The event is being planned for late August-early September in the county.

The board also discussed with Michael Dankworth of the county IT department issues with office services.

It also welcomes Scott as new deputy director to his first board meeting. He was hired recently to fill the position vacated with the termination earlier this year of deputy director Eric Morgan by the previous board.

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