Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Election Day Thread

5:26: For your later afternoon entertainment, Circle City Pundit reports that GOP attorneys have been dispatched to a problem precinct on the near-eastside--home to the infamous Wilson Allen. Not surprisingly, election judges were wearing Carson buttons. Even more disturbing was the discovery that the cardboard ballot box into which ballots are deposited was unsealed. Even more disappointing are the turnout numbers I'm hearing. Turnout in both Democratic and Republican precincts is a measly 10%-15%. The turnout in the Republican areas doesn't look good enough to overcome the Democratic advantage in the district. Elrod is going to have to count on cross-over Democratic votes to win.

4:12 p.m.: The Democratic-controlled Marion Co. Election Board turned down a Republican request this afternoon to keep open those polls which opened late today a full 12 hours. A total of 8 precincts, primarily in heavily Republican precincts, failed to open on time today because of the failure of inspectors to arrive on time. Who cares about disenfranchising voters, particularly when they are located in predominately white, Republican precincts?

2:00 p.m.: Beth White is disputing Tom John's claim earlier today that there were any missing ballots. No response from John yet. Republicans seem pleased with turnouts so far in Republican-leaning precincts, particularly in the south. Warren Township is seeing a better than expected turnout according to one observer. Voter turnout in Washington Township is looking good, although that may not be good news for Democrat Andre Carson. A source tells me that Jewish voters are coming out to cast a vote against Carson. In the past, Julia Carson carried the Jewish vote overwhelmingly. Anecdotally, it also appears Elrod has successfully cut into Carson's support among GLBT voters. Many GLBT voters who always voted for Julia Carson in the past are casting a vote in this election for Jon Elrod. Carson's loss of support among these two constituencies could make the difference today. Undecided voters will be key. Although Carson reportedly held a single-digit lead in internal polls taken by both parties prior to the election, some say the numbers were very similar to the numbers we saw going into last year's mayoral election. On election day, the undecideds broke heavily in favor of Ballard, putting him over the top. Will the undecideds break for Elrod or Carson?

9:33 a.m.: Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John announced an award offer this morning to help discover the whereabouts of thousands of ballots he says Marion Co. Clerk Beth White's office seems to have misplaced. "As she stated on the record this morning, there are thousands of ballots 'out there somewhere' and Clerk White can't seem to find them," John stated. "Given that these ballots could be unscrupulously placed in White's insecure cardboard ballot boxes, it is imperative that we locate and recover these ballots as soon as possible." John is offering a $100 reward to anyone who can locate these missing ballots. This is indeed a very troubling sign. I've been convinced from day one that the Carson political machine will do whatever it takes to hold on to this seat. They stole the 7th District caucus vote for Andre. Now they'll try to steal the special election. Will your vote count today if Carson's campaign is able to surreptitiously insert marked ballots into those flimsy cardboard boxes White is storing ballots in today after you cast your vote, which are to be transferred to the convention center for counting after the polls close?

8:16 a.m.: The Clerk's office reported more than 6,500 absentee ballots were cast for the special election. Those numbers don't suggest voter turnout will be high. It's well below the 10,400 cast in last year's municipal election and about half the number cast in the 2006 general election. Based on the number of self-identified Republican and Democratic voters who cast absentee ballots, Democrats and Republicans were represented almost equally with a little more than a hundred Democrats than Republicans casting an absentee ballot. A Republican source tells me the Elrod campaign is encouraged by those numbers.

7:43 a.m.: At least 6 precincts did not open on time this morning. The Clerk's office now claims all but two of those precincts are now opened.

6:55 a.m. : Marion Co. Clerk Beth White is up to her old tricks. Preliminary reports indicate several heavily Republican precincts in Franklin and Perry Townships did not open at 6:00 a.m. Beverly Elrod, mother of Jon Elrod, is the precinct committeeperson for Franklin 13. As of 6:25 a.m. no inspector had arrived and the precinct remained closed. As for the Voter ID law, a Pike Township voter reports that election workers were not requiring voters to present a Voter ID as required by Indiana law. Other voters are complaining about the new location of their polling places being inconvenient.

The clip below is WTHR's rundown of the 7th District race from last night's broadcast. Kevin Rader notes that Andre Carson began his campaign running as an agent of change but almost immediately turned to Washington to run his campaign and raise money for him. He contrasts that with Jon Elrod, who has had to fight against the odds to win every political office to which he's been elected.
video

24 comments:

Mike B. said...

That was me. I did call the election people about it. My wife goes in this morning to vote and we will see if they ask for her photo ID.

Mike B.

Wilson46201 said...

Locations of polling places are chosen by the Mayor's Office - complain to Ballard about those inconveniences!

Mike B. said...

My wife voted at 8 AM and they did ask for her Photo ID when she tried to show them just the voter registration postcard she had.

I assume someone from the election office talked to the people running it and told them what they were supposed to do.

Mike B said...

Wilson - help us out here - who should people complain to about polling sites not opening and that inconvenience ?

John M said...

Are your numbers adjusted for population, Gary? The 7th District includes only about 78 percent of Marion County's population (about 675,000 of 865,000 MC residents are in the 7th), so if not, there wouldn't be that much of a difference in the percentage of absentee ballots cast.

Advance Indiana said...

Good point, John M, but adjusting from last year's mayoral election, it would still suggest a smaller turnout than that election.

tjefferson said...

Wilson, shouldn't you be out picking through garbage for gossip and breakfast or stalking someone with your Brownie camera? Oh wait, ex-low level government bureaucrats usually don't get up until noon. All those years of 3 hour workdays are habit-forming.

Anonymous said...

I was unable to vote at this morning even though I went to the address on the card received two days ago. It was the same as was on the Clerk's website for my address. They would not find out where to send me. The voting officials would not let me seal my ballot in the envelope. they would not allow me to void the ballot. What a mess!

Anonymous said...

I am getting ready to go to vote. I'm late going because I don't think it will really matter. I think it is a done (Crooked) deal.

We will have a cheating, fake (education only worth the paper it is on) winner by much string pulling.

p.s. I was impressed by letter written by Jons Mom.

Eclecticvibe said...

I found it odd that the ballots were placed in a box, rather than fed into machines. A neighbor was told that they were going to be taken elsewhere to a central location and counted by machine. The poll clerk made it clear to me that she didn't need to see my registration card, only my driver's license. We received two registration cards at my address for people who haven't lived here for at least 3 years.

Just The Facts Ma'am said...

Jen Wagner is claiming on TDW, "apparently there are no missing ballots. But nice try."

Did they magically appear? Anyone have the scoop?

Anonymous said...

It is obvious to me that several people posting on here are ignorant of election law. Mayor Ballard selects the polling locations. Complain to him. The voter registration card does not count since the GOP now requires picture ID...the absentee numbers actually seem highs COMPARED to the absentees for the entire county November election.

Jeff Newman said...

What are you guys going to do if Elrod wins and you've thrown all of these accusations out? Couldn't this come back to bite you?

Mike B. said...

Jim Shelia made a good point in his blog - the extra time needed to UNFOLD the ballots since the slots in the box was not wide enough !

And are they going to security tape OVER all of the slots after 6 PM ? What is going to stop someone from sliding in some extra ballots after 6 PM ?

Advance Indiana said...

As I folded over my ballot this morning, I wondered the same thing about how well it would feed through the scanner.

Anonymous said...

I also thought it odd that the ballots were placed in a cardboard box, rather than fed into a machine.

My conscious would not allow me to vote for either of the three, so I wrote in David O's name, instead.

Anonymous said...

The corruption of The Democrat Machine never surprises me.

Wilson46201 said...

It’s news to me! I wasn’t the Inspector there so I left the voting place around 8am and then was out and about tagging along photographing AndrĂ© Carson the rest of the day. I just got home and saw this trivia online.

No, I didn’t tell anybody to wear any buttons either!

Anonymous said...

Marion County elections practices are not funny. Unsealed cardboard boxes? Are you kidding me? Even Iraq sealed their tupperware containers I understand.

My election location had a "Carson for Congress" sign taped next to the door entrance and in clear violation of the 50 foot rule exclusion for campaign literature. I pointed out the violation. The "inspector" informed me that it was "his call" and it looked like 50 feet to him. He said it had "been there all day". Any suggestions on what I should have - should do? I am tired of this stuff in Marion County.

Anonymous said...

I cast my vote at the eastside polling place on Vermont.
After I marked my ballot I was told to fold it in half and drop in in the box.
As I turned around to drop my ballot in the box my jaw bounced off the floor. A FLIMSY CARDBOARD BALLOT BOX!! My God!!!!!!!!!!!
Sure, I absolutely certain this election isn't rigged.
I have voted by paper ballot in two small towns in the United State and the ballot boxes sure as hell were not made out of cardboard boxes that came Staples.
In fact the ballot boxes in these two towns were strongboxes with a slit in the top and THEY HAD TWO, YES TWO PAD LOCKS which required TWO KEYS to open.
So Indianapolis, the 12 largest city in the United States, uses cardboard boxes in a race for UNITED STATES CONGRESS!!!
There is absolutely no possible way that all these ballots get where they are supposed to be counted.
CARDBOARD BOXES!!!!!!!!!!!
Is this for real? If so, then most Third World countries run more honest elections than we do.
Rigged? I'll wait for vote tally.

Anonymous said...

5:23, the signs didn't matter. The people who did vote had made up their minds before they got to the polling place.

Anonymous said...

I certainly had my mind made up before going to the poll. That is not the point. Why should election inspectors be allowed to decide which election regulations they will obey and which ones they will not? The inspector knew it was in violation before anything was said. Maybe next time we can post a couple posters inside the voting booth? Heck, everyone's mind is already made up, right?

Watcher on the wall said...

I know that that Jen at TDW is the person I least trust AFTER Wilson.

Anonymous said...

Wilson, why won't you answer Mike B's question??????? TYPICAL D! Pitiful.