Election 2020: Voting goes smoothly in Dayton region

County boards of election reported few problems across the Dayton region Tuesday during Election Day as voters flocked to the polls.

“Pretty calm and, at this point, nothing major to report,” said Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly on Tuesday evening. "The voters are voting and because of the great planning and organization of Montgomery County Board of Elections and its staff, we could not have envisioned a better day. "

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Lines at some polling places in the region were long but no reports existed of hours-long waits. There also were no reports of organized efforts to intimidate voters.

Voting at the Belmont Church of Christ in Dayton Tuesday morning. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Voting at the Belmont Church of Christ in Dayton Tuesday morning. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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In Greene County voting machines were out of order for several hours in the morning at First Baptist Church in Bellbrook, said Greene County Election Board Director Llyn McCoy. Voters used paper ballots while the issue was being resolved.

In Miami County voting continued after a vehicle hit part of St. John the Baptist Church in Tipp City where the scanners were.

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Here’s what some of the area board officials said about Election Day in the final hours of voting:

"It was steady and busy in Preble County with no glitches,” said Terri Hans, director of the Preble County Board of Elections.

“No major issues here,” said Laura Bruns, director of the Miami County Board of Elections. “Minor equipment issues but they were resolved quickly and there was sufficient equipment to cover in the meantime.”

“There have been no major issues at the polls to report in Darke County today,” said Paul Schlecty, director of the Darke County Board of Elections.

At the polls in Montgomery County

There were no lines to vote at some of Montgomery County’s largest polling places an hour before polls were set to close.

“First time voter!” yelled a poll worker as a woman wrote her name in a poll book at a Sinclair Community College campus in Centerville that is home to six precincts, the most in the county. Everyone in the polling place cheered.

Lines were also short at a business in Miamisburg that is home to five polling locations. Poll workers there said that was likely because poll books showed as many as half the voters in those precincts voted early.

Governor Mike DeWine along with his wife Fran, vote at the Cedarland Event Center in Cedarville on Tuesday. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Governor Mike DeWine along with his wife Fran, vote at the Cedarland Event Center in Cedarville on Tuesday. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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“It was very smooth. Well organized. Felt safe,” said voter Micki Dyer.

Carla Taylor said she waited maybe 25 minutes to vote at her polling place, a church in Vandalia.

“It went fine,” she said.

The vast majority of voters at polling locations visited by Dayton Daily News reporters wore masksbecause of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a Dayton Daily News reporter observed voting at the Vandalia location shortly after 3 p.m., a young couple got to the front of the line not wearing masks. The poll worker offered complementary masks.

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“No, thanks,” the man and woman replied.

“You are refusing?” the poll worker asked.

“Yes,” the man replied.

The couple were then directed to vote like everyone else. Poll workers said they were the first people at that location to refuse masks. State rules say people who refuse to wear masks must be allowed to vote. They are supposed to be offered curbside voting but they do not have to agree to it.

Early voting broke records statewide

Final voter turnout figures were not available by deadline Tuesday night, but as the day began, 3.4 million of the state’s 8.07 million registered voters had already cast absentee ballots or voted in person, according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office.

“With 243,023 absentee ballots still outstanding, Ohio’s early vote total is already 180 percent of the previous early vote record and equals 60 percent of the total number of votes cast in the entire 2016 General Election," according to LaRose.

Absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 will be counted if they arrive by Nov. 13.

About a hundred people were lined up at Sinclair Community College South Campus waiting to polls to open on Election Day. It is the only polling place in Montgomery County with six precincts. STAFF PHOTO / JORDAN LAIRD
About a hundred people were lined up at Sinclair Community College South Campus waiting to polls to open on Election Day. It is the only polling place in Montgomery County with six precincts. STAFF PHOTO / JORDAN LAIRD

Election results are expected to change as more ballots are counted through Nov. 18. We will continue to update these results as more ballots are counted.

LaRose declined to speculate how long tabulation may take and said election officials would not sacrifice accuracy for speed.

LaRose said he expects Ohio to set a voter turnout record, exceeding the record set in the 2008 presidential election when 5.77 million people cast ballots for a 69.6 percent turnout.

In the 2016 presidential election 71.3 percent of 7.86 million registered voters cast ballots.

Rebecca Privett of Dayton was the last person to drop off her ballot at the drop box at the Montgomery County Board of Elections, pulling in at exactly 7:30 p.m.

Privett said she was held up on a call at work and was afraid she wouldn’t make it.

“It’s important (to vote) in every year’s election, because that’s how we make our decisions about where this country or our government, local, state and federal is going,” she said.

Staff writers Laura A. Bischoff, Jordan Laird, Parker Perry and contributing writer Nancy Bowman contributed to this report

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