Squirrel responsible for power outage at Miami County elections board

Most of those who showed up Monday, Oct. 31, to cast early votes at the Miami County Board of Elections used paper ballots after a morning power loss blamed on a squirrel and an outage of county servers that continued late in the afternoon.

Elections Director Bev Kendall said those voting on machines when the power went out were able to finish before the elections office lost its computer server.

Those who came to vote while the server was out were asked to vote by absentee paper ballot, Kendall said. Those who wanted to vote on a machine were asked to return when they were available. By mid-afternoon around 300 people had voted by paper ballot with the office remaining opening Monday until 7 p.m.

The Secretary of State’s Office was told about the situation and kept updated as were election board members, Kendall said.

“We have had no problems,” she said.

The power outage occurred around 9:15 a.m. and affected both the Courthouse, where the elections office is located, and the nearby county Safety Building, said Chris Johnson, county facilities and operations director. DP&L was called and had power restored in around two hours, he said.

A squirrel was blamed for the outage that occurred in a substation. The board of elections servers were back up and working around 5 p.m. Monday, according to Eric Morgan, deputy elections director.

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