Two reserve deputies arrived soon after the altercation occurred and took statements from Shearer, Treacy and Tuttle. Shearer said he had visited the polling site in a volunteer capacity on behalf of Hoosiers for Honesty In Government, a political action committee with which he is associated. Shearer said he had heard reports of campaign violations taking place at the two satellite polling sites. Shearer expressed concern that Democratic candidates, including Marion Co. Clerk Beth White were campaigning within the 50-foot chute leading to the polling site in violation of election law. Shearer claimed White greeted voters and asked for their vote. The reserve deputies who took the police report made no arrests and planned to turn their report over to IMPD according to Shearer.
UPDATE: Indianapolis Times reports on Treacy leveling the charge that Republicans were engaging in voter intimidation at the eastside satellite voting site where Shearer claims Treacy assaulted him. According to the press release from Treacy:
After spending months trying to prevent voters from voting by blocking the utilization of satellite voting locations, Marion County Republicans have sadly taken their voter suppression tactics to an entirely new level: Voter Intimidation.UPDATE: WRTV has posted a brief story on the altercation here and WTHR has a brief story here. Both reports are consistent with what I reported yesterday. The Star reports the altercation between Shearer and Treacy was mutual, contrary to Shearer's version of the story:
Under Indiana law (Ind. Code section 3-14-3-21.5), voter intimidation is defined as "a person who knowingly or intentionally intimidates, threatens, or coerces an individual for . . . voting or attempting to vote . . . ."
Today, Marion County Republicans engaged in precisely such illicit behavior at the satellite voting location on 10th and Post Road. Taking pictures and recording the faces of voters without the voters' approval, local Republicans have resorted to reprehensible tactics.
"These tactics are both despicable and, frankly, creepy. Mayor Ballard and Chairman John should be ashamed of themselves for resorting to such desperate actions. Today, I'm calling on the Mayor and his county chairman to end this strategy of voter intimidation and suppression. If they won't protect voters, I will," said Marion County Democratic Party Chairman Ed Treacy.
Special deputies were asked for help at an early voting station on Saturday after two local political leaders got into a scuffle.UPDATE: A statement included in today's Star from Ed Treacy confirms there was some bumping of bellies between the two men:
An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report says Marion County Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy and Warren Township GOP ward Chairman Ernest Shearer got into a shouting and shoving match around 3 p.m. Saturday outside a satellite polling site at 9049 E. 10th St..
According to the report, Shearer accused Treacy of assaulting him and insisted on pressing charges.
Shearer told police he took pictures of Treacy walking out of the polling site when Treacy began cursing at him, bumped him and hit him in the nose with a business card.
He told police Treacy chest-bumped him three times.
Witnesses told police they saw Shearer bump Treacy and grab his arm and that the bumping was mutual.
Satellite polling stations like the one on 10th Street allow people to vote absentee in person and avoid lines on Election Day. Just as at regular polling locations, candidates and party officials sometimes campaign nearby, greeting those getting ready to vote.
In a statement issued via e-mail, Treacy acknowledged there was a "bumping of bellies." He said the incident began as he was leaving the early voting location near 10th Street and Post Road. He said he noticed Shearer taking pictures of voters "in an intimidating manner."
"There had been an earlier confrontation with other Democratic volunteers," he wrote. "I asserted that Mr. Shearer was behaving in a manner designed to intimidate voters.
"Mr. Shearer asserted that he was documenting illegal behavior, including my presence at the site. I produced my watcher card, allowing me to enter and leave the early vote site."
Treacy then accused Shearer of voter intimidation.
Witnesses told police they saw Shearer bump Treacy and grab his arm. They said the bumping was mutual.
One of the witnesses, Paul Tuttle, 73, was at the site to support his son, Paul Tuttle Jr., a Democrat who is running for re-election for Warren Township constable.
"(Shearer) had been out here harassing voters, taking pictures while they were in the chute leading into the voting poll," said Tuttle. "I think he's trying to harass the voters."