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No poll problems reported with BMV service outage

BY JARED KEEVER - jkeever@perutribune.com

An outage of the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ services Monday doesn’t appear to have had any affect on local voters seeking last minute IDs.

“We hadn’t heard about it,” Mary Kaye Jones, Miami County first deputy of voter registration, told the Tribune on Tuesday.

Her response was echoed by several city officials and other candidates campaigning outside the Miami County courthouse early that same afternoon.

The Peru Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch isn’t typically open on Monday, but the branch, in accordance with state law, was open Nov. 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in order to provide “free, state-issued identification cards for voting purposes,” a sign near the branch’s door said.

But the state agency, in a tweet late Monday afternoon, said that branches across the state were “currently unable to process customer transactions.”

That though was well after the noon closing time for the city’s single early voting polling place. 

“We will update this notice as the situation changes,” the post to the state agency’s Twitter account said. “We apologize for any inconvenience.”

By early Tuesday, the agency had sent out a news release saying service had been restored and branches were “ready to process transactions” following Monday’s “technical failure.”

The local branch was open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. offering only ID card services for those who came in on Election Day.

Questions to staffers about whether anyone was turned away during Monday’s outage were referred to the agency’s director of communications Christine Meyer, who could not be immediately reached Tuesday prior to deadline.

The news release from the BMV said that anyone who was turned away was notified when service was restored.

Bureau Commissioner Peter Lacy apologized to those inconvenienced by the outage.

Serving Hoosiers and providing ample opportunity to obtain identification for any purpose they need is a core part of our mission,” he said in the release. “Ensuring technical failures do not occur is of utmost importance to our team and we will continue working with our vendor partner until all parties are confident in our future planning.”