Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Beth White Takes Her Lumps

Marion County Clerk Beth White endured a public flogging in today's Star for her handling of yesterday' primary election and deservedly so. It's hard to believe some of former County Clerk Doris Ann Sadler's worst critics were wishing she were still in charge, but after yesterday's debacle, Sadler looks like a God send. Here's a sampling of what the paper had to say:

  • Comparing her first election to the maiden voyage of the Titanic, political columnist Matt Tully writes, "White's maiden voyage as elections chief capsized immediately as many poll workers failed to show up Tuesday." "It was so bad that not only did dozens of polls fail to open on time, but some never opened at all." "Ballots were not delivered to some precincts." "No one knows how many voters were denied the chance to cast a ballot, making it hard to understand how this election could be considered valid."

  • Reporter Robert King writes, "Beth White's first Election Day as Marion County clerk started going downhill long before the sun rose, when 150 precinct inspectors -- the folks in charge of the polls -- never showed up to collect ballots and voter lists." "But by the end of perhaps the most chaotic, confused and bumbling election in Marion County's history, things got so bad that questions were raised about whether White should resign and whether major election reform is needed to prevent another debacle." "The problems were countywide and profound." "Five of the county's 917 precincts never opened.
    At least 45 more opened late." "Ballots and precinct voting lists were shipped in several cases to the wrong voting location, forcing election officials to print new ones, some as late as 4 p.m. -- 10 hours into the 12-hour voting day." "Poll clerks and poll judges with no inspector training were deputized on the spot to fill in for the 150 missing inspectors." "She has no plans to resign."

  • And from the Star's editorial, "But for now, the credibility of an entire primary election is in jeopardy." "Citizens are left to wonder how the county will reconcile its flawed, incomplete vote." "One of the most basic principles of our democracy has been violated."

46 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

One small blessing: it seems "sir hailstone" melted away when exposed to the blaze of public scrutiny. Mike Jeziersky was the only slated GOP council at-large candidate to lose. I hope this doesnt mean he'll be back trolling online, denouncing all to the left of Jefferson Davis as dangerous dupes of the Kremlin...

Anonymous said...

the only "dupe" is you Wilson.

Anonymous said...

If Beth White were in the private sector she would have been fired on the spot.
White needs to resign.

election..whatelection? said...

And who is eerily quiet in all this? Ed Treacy!! The one so quick to trounce Sadler and the GOP every election suddenly is no where to be found. And White PROMISED she would fix all the problems. Not only did she not fix anything, she created an even bigger mess than before she got elected.

Anonymous said...

Wilson - what does Mike Jeziersky have to do with Beth White ?

Try to post on topic if you can.

Anonymous said...

Kind of makes the idea that the voter ID law disenfranchises voters look stupid. Look what all the litigation has proven so far: Plaintiffs can't show a single person wasn't able to vote because of the law. However, because of the incompetence of local democrats, entire precincts were disenfrachised. This is also why, who is elected clerk matters. Donna Edgar was the best choice. It is too bad she lost. This was predictible from November of 2006.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the process of writing the NAACP to investigate this civil rights violation of voters from 5 precincts, the majority of which were Black neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Ed Treacy needs to go on TV and demand that Beth White be arrested and charged with a crime!!!

The democraps proved in this election that they are INCOMPETENT. The only thing they can do is TAX & SPEND.

Anyone want to go to the Center Twp Trustee building and have a drink in that bar with me to talk about how the election went?

Lance Rasmussen said...

"Anonymous said...
Wilson - what does Mike Jeziersky have to do with Beth White ?

Try to post on topic if you can.

9:31 AM EST"

I'm going to break the on-topic rule, too, because I figured AI would be interested in today's Columbus Republic....the last line of the article about Cummins' annual sharholder meeting has Tim Solso saying:

One challenge that remains, he (Solso) said, is being able to recruit the best talent from anywhere.

"That talent has to feel included and welcome," he said.


Care to take a swing at what he's talking about?

Anonymous said...

"The democraps proved in this election that they are INCOMPETENT. The only thing they can do is TAX & SPEND"

Now there's some rhetoric. I believe the Bush administration has the dems beat on spending. And at our state level the spritual need for the right-wing-nuts to trust god on our license plates is 6mil and counting.

Wilson46201 said...

"democraps" is the kind of nutterball freeper rhetoric that Mike Jezierski a.k.a. "Sir Failstone" uses ... it looks like he is still too ashamed to post except as an anonymous nobody...

violet said...

I don't know much about the actual work of overseeing the voting, and it does seem like a very big and messy job, but I think it was so refreshing to hear someone say: "Yes, I am responsible. I need to do better next time." Kudos to Beth White for standing up like that. If only all politicians would do that we could stop expecting everyone to be some shiny veneer of a person and actually allow people to be human so they (and we) can learn from our mistakes and make progress.

I will reserve judgment and give Beth White a chance to do better in the real election.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Violet.

Beth White really (really) messed up this election.

But, she came out, owned up to it and worked hard to get the polls closed efficiently and quickly.

I also thought Jim Shella's coverage (showing the Democratic party phone banking to recruit volunteers) was a reminder that Ed Treacy would yell and scream at Doris Anne Sadler, but would always offer bodies to help out.

I don't know if Tom John was willing to help, or if any of this can be blamed on Republican malfeasence.

Anonymous said...

I am amused by the comments that Donna Edgar could have done a better job with elections. She certainly did not make that point during her campaign. In fact the only Edgar campaign literature I saw was about getting tough on crime postcards that seemed more approriate for a candidate for prosecutor or sheriff.

This problem with getting workers for the polls has been brewing for years. I hate to be crass but the same old people who always worked the polls are dying off and nobody had bothered to groom the next generation. Instead we have a generation of folks who do not affiliate with political parties and a precinct voting system that depends on lots of R & D bodies to run the darn thing.

We can get thousands of volunteers to work the mini marathon but nobody to work the polls.

Anonymous said...

Wilson, you're always telling people to stay on topic... why can't you? It's telling how you avoid commenting on the complete disaster yesterday. You and Jen from TDW haven't uttered a word about it.

Stupid hypocrite.

Wilson46201 said...

Well, I went downtown today and bought a nice box (on sale) of Whitmans Sampler chocolates for Beth White, who is doubtlessly feeling just terrible today ...

Anonymous said...

so if Bush said that he screwed up in Iraq and moved along it'd be ok?

if Terry Record apologized for running a red light and killing someone it'd be ok?

Apology accepted, now face the consequences... White should resign.

kevin said...

Anon 11:22.
Really b ad comparison. No one was killed yesterday due to Beth White's negligence.

Anonymous said...

the point is taking responsibility for ones' actions, inactions and decision; nobody is calling for her to serve jail time.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the Dems DID call for jail time for much more minor errors. So, if Doris Ann deserved, let's say 30 days in jail, how much time does Beth White deserve?

Any of you excuse-making, blame-shifting Dems care to take a shot at that one?

Anonymous said...

Sure, 12:32:

Doris Ann deserves zero jail time.

I want her working, to repay the county almost $1 million in legal fees, as a result of stupid, partisan decisions of the election board while she was clerk. Which were directly dictated by the County Republican Party and were never, ever fair or undertaken with voters' intent in mind.

She did a better job running elections than Beth did yesterday. But to be blunt, Doris Ann never stepped forward and apologized for:

1. taking the stupid position that council district lines in 2003 were logical, when an appeal Court, in about 15 seconds ruled otherwise.

2. Ditto with stupid 2003 ballot design. More legal action.

3. Ditto with not having procedures in place to give us a winner in the city council races four years ago until, oh, about Dec. 20.

Beth messed up. She said so. Didn't even blame co-workers. Took it all on herself.

She should not only NOT resign, her conduct yesterday, taking responsibility fully, should be commended.

Let's DO hold Beth accountable and ask for regular post-mortem reports on her progress. That's not only fair, it's reasonable.

Now, what else ya got? Tom John needs to try to fan this story for a few mroe days, and I sense you need to help him.

Anonymous said...

It's really amusing how disenfranchisement really seems inconsequential to these Dems, both here and at TDW - something to just shrug their shoulders at and console each other with chocolates over.

But when it happens, and a Republican wins... they're the first ones screaming about accountability and conspiracies.

Should there be no accountability here? Is it OK because Beth feels terrible and got some f**king chocolates??

Anonymous said...

Beth White needs oversite during the Nov. election.
We can't trust her to get it right after what she showed us yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:22 AM EST
"so if Bush said that he screwed up in Iraq and moved along it'd be ok?...
Apology accepted, now face the consequences... White should resign."

Sure, as soon as Bush resigns.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:32
"Of course, the Dems DID call for jail time for much more minor errors."

Name one such case please.

Anonymous said...

The voting chaos yesterday was purely intentional, folks.

Part of Mayor Bart Simp--oops, I mean PETERson's-- attempt to force the issue and eventually lead to a reduction in the number of polling places and workers needed in Marion County.

Yet another 'eye for an eye' payback for General Assembly inaction on Major Moo-ves, I suspect.

Anonymous said...

IndyU is reporting that White may be expecting this fall. Wonder who will run the show if she isn't able? This is getting better all the time. Beth do us all a favor and step down.

Anonymous said...

Yes what a nightmare the election was, but mainly because there were no qualified candidates for mayor, including the incumbent.

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:16am, please advise how Donna Edgar could have managed a more bungled election? She certainly couldn't have done worse, plus, she would have brought along all the experience of the Republican Inspectors. Running elections isn't easy, we just made it look like it was. Who is elected clerk does matter. Voters picked the wrong candidate. Watch and see how screwed up Bowes does the property tax bills. Head north, south, east or west. Marion County is getting the government it deserves, if, it continues to elect imbiciles. And, finally, Doris Ann is owed an apology. Turnabout, really, is fair play. Look at how stupid the entire democrat party looks now. BTW, 11:16 are you Beth White?

Wilson46201 said...

Beth White stepped up and took responsibility for election day mistakes.

Her fierce critics here wont even take responsibility for their own identities, preferring to hurl charges and accusations while hiding behind false faces and anonymity. White hoods are not out of fashion in Hoosier conservative politics...

thomaskgarrett said...

So, Mr. Wilson, if people complain that THEY WEREN'T ABLE TO VOTE IN AN ELECTION, they are wearing the white hoods of the Klan???? Unbelievable. The problems yesterday are far and beyond anything that happened under the previous clerk. PERIOD.

Wilson46201 said...

There are only three commenters here that are honest enough to use their own name. The rest are anonymous nobodies who skulk around and holler inanities while disguising their identities. Kudos to Rasmussen and Garret!

Big Willy said...

Some of us may have been to lazy, up to this point to register for this chatter. Turnabout is fair play, no? The most bungled election in County history, no? Voter's disenfrachised, no? Entire precincts, closed, the entire day, yes? Promises and accusations made, yes? Delivery? The bomb...the worst. She should apologize for taking a job over her head and resigne.

indyernie said...

Wilson you are wrong on this one.
Beth White bashed both Edgar and Sadler during the campaign season last year. YOU and I both were at the events along with Gary Welsh and several others that come to this blog.
White claiming responsibility will not clear up this mess. Saying I’m sorry may be honorable but honest voters were not able to cast their vote.
Voting is a basic right of every American. White’s inability to perform her job with some confidence is a black eye on our community regardless of party affiliation.
The butchery that transpired yesterday is a negative reflection on your party and it cast suspicions of fraud by the democrats.
Mike J may have lost but he was entitled to the votes from all precincts not just those that the democrat party wanted counted.
You defending this abortion is tiring at best and is falling on deaf ears.
Democrats and Republicans are all concerned about White’s performance or lack there of.

Anonymous said...

Response to Mike O’Connor,

Where is your machine? Stop blaming the Republicans for the failures of the Democrat Party.

If each one of these elected officials had recruited a minimum of 54 volunteers to work for the Democrat Party on Primary Election Day. They would not need the help of the Republican Party. . 917 Inspectors, 917 judges, 917 clerks equals 2751 Democrats precinct workers.

917 precincts in Marion County; Democrat County elected officials;
Mayor Bart Peterson, county Sheriff Frank Anderson , County Clerk Beth White, County Assessor Greg Bowes, County Auditor Billie Breau, County Treasurer, Michael Rodman, County Recorder Julie Voorhies, County Surveyor Catherine Barton, County Coroner Dr. Kenneth Ackles;

4 City-county Councilors at large Rozelle Boyd, JoAnne Sanders, Ron Gibson, Lonnell Conley,

7th District Congresswoman Julia Carson;

Indiana House District Reps
Bill Crawford, Jeb Bardon, Vanessa Summers, Greg Porter, Carolene Mays, Mae Dickerson, John Day, David Orenlicher, Indiana Senators. Glen Howard, Jean Breau, District Councilors Monroe Gray, Mary Moriarty-Adams, Vernon Brown, Patrice Abdullah, Dane Mahern, Angela Mansfield, Sherron Franklin, Jackie Nytes, William Oliver, Paul Bateman, Cherrish Pryor;

Townships 6 trustees, 6 assessors, 6 constables, 7 Township Board Members, Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer, Constable Tony Duncan, Assessor Eugene Akers, Wayne Township Trustee, David Beard, Lawrence Township, Warren Township, Washington Township Frank Short, Pike Township Lula Patton.

Wilson46201 said...

Except for School 101 opening late (5:36am instead of 5:00am) things went well at 2-1 where I served as Inspector. We opened promptly at 6am. I've been the Democratic Precinct Committeeperson there for over 20 years and it was to be a slow election so I became Inspector. No Republican workers showed up whatsoever: no GOP precinctperson, no GOP judge or clerk, no GOP outside leafletting volunteers, no GOP yardsigns or posters. The place was staffed totally and solely with Democrats. Our Democratic ward chair had pizza delivered for the workers -- Brian Mahern had Subway Sandwiches delivered to his volunteers.


Democratic candidate for City Councillor Brian Mahern took it 26 to 8 -- his opponent, incumbent Scott Keller, did breeze by briefly in the afternoon

Anonymous said...

Wilson - Democratic candidate for City Councillor Brian Mahern took it 26 to 8 -- his opponent, incumbent Scott Keller, did breeze by briefly in the afternoon.

If this is not a REASON for fewer voting sites I do know what is !

3 people sitting in a room for 12+ hours at a cost of about $200 = about $6 per vote.

Not a very good return on the countys investment.

Figure on a GOOD election day 250,000 voters cast a vote = 250-300 voters per percinct. WE should lump them together in groups of 1000 actual voters and go with 200 to 300 voting sites.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wilson!! why dont you go buy a box of chocolates for every citizen that dident get to vote yesterday. How do you think they feel going out to exercise their right to vote and getting turned away. I know if i was one of them i'd be feeling very sad and angry today. But all in all I'm happy with the result. Maybe this will wake some citizens up and get some REGULAR working people involved in their city.

Anonymous said...

Doris Ann=Class Beth White=Mea Culpa's....who do you prefer?

Anonymous said...

"Voting is a basic right of every American."

I thought Bush v. Gore made it clear that voting isn't a right.

Michael Hegg said...

On behalf of those elderly and Black voters who either were turned away or denied the right to vote, I have submitted requests to the legal teams of the NAACP and the AARP to investigate this debacle, the AARP primarily at the instigation of a friend of mine whose polling site was closed all 12 hours of the election.

Wilson46201 said...

It's unlikely Michael Hegg is a dues-paying member of either organization that he is asking to investigate this election -- I suspect his request is really more based on an animosity he still bears against them for daring to oppose the Karl Rove/Todd Rokita VoterID disenfranchisement law...

Michael Hegg said...

I am not a member of either organization, but as for the rest of your statement about animosity Mr. 46201, you would be incorrect. What you speak of, disenfranchisement, actually happened Tuesday. I personally witnessed it while campaigning for a GOP At-Large seat. Arent you upset at this civil rights violation? Or do you save your faux anger for Republican error?

If so, then perhaps its best you aren't upset now, as proportionately, the thousands of Black and elderly voters turned away, under the responsibility of your Democrat parties' stewardship, would be enough to anger a person into a heart attack.

Michael Hegg
(R) At-Large City County Council candidate

www.michaelhegg4ccc.com

skillman said...

White ran her first election and the workers failed to appear. I suspect that a closer examination will show that the districts had been previously rebblican strong hold and they just plain failed to appear and do their tasks.
White took responsibility b/c she failed to anticipate the vacuum left when republicans quit the city election process. Lets wait to see the facts.

Anonymous said...

How about having BOTH parties supply 1/2 each of the required Inspectors.

Each party has shown that it needs help from the other party in getting enough inspectors.

List each precinct by voter size. The Democrats get the biggest one, then the Republicans get the next biggest one, repeat as needed.

Anonymous said...

skillman,

The people who did not show up to those polling sites that opened late or never opened at all were ALL Democrat Inspectors.

The County Dem. party fills all of the inspector spots.

I would be curious to know WHO those 175 people they were and if any of them were Republicans that said they would help out and never showed up.