Marion Co. Clerk Beth White's tenure in office has been marked by unprecedented partisanship. She constantly stages press opportunities to vilify the Republican Party by making it appear in any way possible that the party's goal is to disenfranchise voters, in particular, African-American voters. White trotted out a totally bogus claim today that the Republican Party was making calls to black voters to give them the wrong polling location to cast their votes tomorrow at an emergency meeting of the Marion Co. Election Board she had called. She knows it's a totally false allegation, but she makes it nonetheless for a dramatic effect of turning African-American voters against Republican candidates. It's been a constant theme of the Marion Co. Democrats and the Democratic mayoral campaign of Melina Kennedy for the past month. Throughout the fall campaign she has lambasted the Republican Party because it would not go along with setting up multiple satellite voting sites for early voting despite easy accessibility to an early voting site at the county clerk's office downtown for the past 30 days. According to her office, nearly three times the number of people have cast votes in person at her office as of noon today, 8,709 compared to 2,738 in 2007. With mailed-in absentee ballots, there have been 18,766 votes cast early, closely matching the turnout in last year's congressional election. The only voters disenfranchised during White's tenure in office was entirely of her making when she failed to staff and open up polling places at several precincts during her first primary election, mostly in Republican areas of the county. White said it was no big deal that only voters in a handful of precincts were deprived of their right to vote in that election. White may be a Democratic-elected official, but she's also an officer of the court and has a duty to run fair and impartial elections. Sadly, that's a task she has proven over and over again she is incapable of doing.
UPDATE: Marion Co. GOP Chairman Kyle Walker put out a statement that indicates that the claim White premised her allegation upon is the result of an error made by the registration board within her office over which she presides pertaining to a single voter who recently changed his registered voting address. Here are the details as outlined by Walker:
In the dog and pony show that was today's Election Board meeting, the Marion County Democrats brought forth an individual, Matthew J. Connor, who claims to have received a call from the Democrat Party that was defined as a "killer call." The caller is reported to have given the Mr. Connor incorrect information regarding his poll location. Upon review of the publicly available voter registration records for Mr. Connor, it is apparent that the confusion was caused by an error at the Marion County Board of Voters Registration.
Upon moving to a new residence, Mr. Connor filed to change his voters registration to his new address. The Board of Voters Registration failed to change his registration address, and instead registered him as a new voter at his new location. As a result, he is now registered twice in Marion County. The polling location that the "killer caller" referenced is the correct location for his first registration (which is still active). Therefore, it appears that whomever is making calls on behalf of the Marion County Democrat Party is simply working from an old list of registered voters.
Marion County Republican Chairman, Kyle Walker, states: "I find it shameful that the Marion County Democrat Party would say that these calls somehow originated from the Marion County Republican Party or any of our candidates. Perhaps they should have first reviewed the publicly available voter registration information prior to sounding the alarm at an "emergency" meeting of the Election Board. The tactics of the Democrats is shameful and shouldn't be tolerated by the voting public."Yep, the totally unethical White was merely crying wolf. To make matters worse, I received a letter in the mail today from the ethically-challenged Greg Hahn, a highly partisan Democratic lobbyist at Bose McKinney. He falsely says I'm subject to a consent decree that was filed in a case during last year's election. Hey, Greg, I'm an appointed election judge and I will do my appointed function in tomorrow's election without any intimidation from a sleazeball attorney like you who has the audacity to represent in a letter to me that you are acting under color of law. This is one of the attorneys who sent out a solicitation to a fundraiser for the wife of Marion Co. Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy's wife, Becky Pierson Treacy, implying attorneys who contributed to her campaign would receive favorable rulings from her court. The Democrats cried wolf a second time today by claiming the Republicans were planning to use unauthorized persons as challengers in tomorrow's election. The Marion Co. GOP included all precinct committeepersons on a list of persons who would be working as election day challengers in a catch-all effort which included many persons, including myself, who are not spending the day working as challengers. Instead of picking up the phone and seeking clarification on these matters, White jumps the gun and falsely accuses Republicans of nefarious activities. She simply cannot be trusted to run fair and impartial elections.