Election Board administrator Andy Mallon now readily admits election administrators, which includes Marion Co. Clerk Beth White, knew there was an issue with Councilor Abduallah's statement of candidacy when he filed it for re-election back in January. The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy explains our election administrators position on Abduallah:
Abduallah said he did not recall getting a call Feb. 26 from Marion County Election Board officials informing him that his voter registration address in the 900 block of North Sheffield Avenue did not match his candidate filing address. He would have been allowed to amend his filing before March 2 with the approval of the Election Board.
Andy Mallon, the Election Board administrator, said the candidates certify the form as correct by signing their name. He said the board does not have a responsibility to check that an address falls within the right district.
"The board doesn't have the legal authority to issue a challenge on its own," Mallon said. "Only a voter in the district can file a challenge."
Mallon's position is total bunk. These folks work for the voters to ensure the integrity of our electoral system. If they have in their position evidence a candidate is not eligible to seek an office for which he has filed to run, they have an affirmative duty to inform the public, even if, as Mallon asserts, they cannot file a formal complaint against the candidate themselves. But once again, the Star does not ask any of the tough questions. Did Marion Co. Democratic Chairman Mike O'Connor know about Abduallah's residency problem? Was the Republican member of the Board or Tom John informed of the residency problem so John could file a formal complaint? The answer appears to no, but even if John had been informed, would he have even bothered to file a complaint. Based on his quote in O'Shaughnessy's article, it is doubtful. John says he didn't check on Abduallah's residency. "Had we been the ones to challenge instead of the citizens, we would have heard cries of partisanship," John told O'Shaughnessy. "I'd rather elevate the debate than bring it down to that level."
Something is clearly wrong here. This Sgt. Schultz "I know nothing" approach is simply not working. We need to institute a new system of checks and balances in our electoral process. The folks in charge are clearly not looking out for the best interests of the voting public.