Miami County’s Board of Elections Office will have security cameras in place in time for the May 6 election.

Board members voted April 10 to work with a local consultant to have rented security cameras in place by Election Day. The board agreed to pay up to $1,000 for renting cameras and getting them installed.

The elections office previously rented cameras for the 2012 presidential election.  The wiring for those cameras remains so getting the system in place should not be that involved, board member Jose Lopez said.

“It is imperative that we have security cameras,” he said.

The board previously discussed buying cameras for permanent installation. That project will be pursued but cannot be completed by the primary election because it will need to be reviewed by a county data board. 

The cameras will be placed in the vote counting room and other areas of the elections office.

In other business, the board discussed a proposed contract for first-time use of a church for a May 6 Election Day polling place. The contract from the church included the provision that those using the facility would sweep and mop floors following the day’s use.

Elections Director Drew Higgins proposed calling the church and giving its representatives contacts at other churches where voting has taken place. “I want to assure them we don’t go in there and trash it,” Higgins said. 

He said he was concerned about signing the contract requiring those measures when the contractors for placing and picking up voting machines would be at the church the following day to retrieve election equipment. He said the contractors – members of the West Milton Rotary Club - would not be expected to clean the floors.

In addition, Lopez said, the staff needed to ensure the church officials did not think poll workers would be staying election night to mop the floor.

Board members Robert Huffman Jr. suggested the board leave the issue to election administrators to handle. 

He told them, though, to remember that if they signed the contract as proposed they would be bound by the cleaning provision. He also suggested they propose a clause to say sweeping and mopping would be done, if needed/as necessary.

In other business the board heard that as of April 10, absentee votes totaled 535 with 180 of the ballots cast in the elections office. Some of those voters were poll workers in town for training, Higgins said.