Monday, November 05, 2007

Will This Election Run Smoothly?

Marion County Beth White tells reporters she is confident the problems of this year's May primary will not be repeated. As of noon, approximately 35 inspectors had not picked up election day materials. White told WTHR replacement workers would be contacted this afternoon to substitute if the materials weren't picked up. Walk-in absentee voting ended at noon today. Although WTHR reported absentee balloting would be up about 25% over four years ago, that number had already been reached by noon on Friday and walk-in voting occurred throughout the weekend. On Friday, White predicted absentee voting would increase by about 50%. That's remarkable, and it could suggest the low voter turnout predicted by WISH-TV's Jim Shella will be proven wrong.

A press release from Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John raises concerns about how well Beth White's office will conduct this election. John claimed complaints had been pouring into GOP headquarters over the past several weeks. Those complaints included:
  • Voters receiving absentee ballots for incorrect council districts and precincts.
  • Poll workers being trained without voting machines present.
  • Poll workers receiving numerous, confusing changes in Election Day assignments.
  • White has reported to the Media that Republican mayoral Candidate Greg Ballard has already voted absentee. Upon checking with White’s office, neither Ballard nor his son, Greg Ballard, Jr., has voted yet.

“We are concerned about these stories that indicate Beth White and her office are unprepared for the election,” John said. “ That is why the GOP offered nearly 200 names of potential poll workers to ensure polls would open on time, something that did not happen in May.”

Why would White tell the media Greg Ballard had voted absentee when he hasn't? I'm particularly concerned about absentee voters being sent the wrong election ballots. We're looking at the prospect of at least six close council races tomorrow. Those kinds of mistakes can make the difference in the outcome of the race.

John has several suggestions to voters. He recommends voters vote earlier in the day rather than later. If you arrive at a polling location that isn’t opened, call Marion County GOP headquarters at 317-635-8881. Voters should report any voting irregularities to GOP Headquarters at 317-635-8881.

UPDATE: On the report that Beth White told reporters Greg Ballard had already voted absentee, this is what I've learned. A reporter from WTHR contacted MCRCC this morning to confirm news the reporter had received from Beth White indicating Ballard had already voted absentee. MCRCC knew Ballard planned to vote in his Pike Township precinct tomorrow morning. MCRCC advised Ballard of the report. He personally went to the clerk's office and confirmed there were no records showing either he or his son, Greg, Jr., had voted absentee. It remains unclear why White told the WTHR reporter what she did. WTHR has no mention of this on its website. I would note that WTHR's Kevin Rader questioned Ballard yesterday morning during a live interview about one election he missed voting in four years ago. I can't confirm he was the same reporter who inquired about the erroneous report from White that he had voted absentee in this year's election.


Anonymous said...

When did Beth White tell anyone that someone had already voted?

I missed that entirely.

I attended pollworker training. It went smoothly. I stopped in toward the end of another class, to pick up some materials I'd left the other time. That class was running smoothly, too.

I've gotta tell you, Gary...ninety percent of the difficulties are these $*(&%*&# machines. Well, that and inspectors not showing up. Folks are intimidated by these machines. Democrats were not used to running the precincts as inspectors, and it's not going to get much easier.

The clerk who purchased these confusing and difficult machines should be shot. I believe that would be...the clerk before the last one. And I believe if you check the records the offending vendor was a regular contributor to national Republicans. Against whom Doris Ann Sadler reluctantly pursued legal action for faulty machines, and then accepted a paltry settlement. Someone got rich off these machines, and they're junk. And difficult to set up, operate and tear down.

All that aside, Beth White has to run a good election tomorrow. I happen to think she will.

Tom John teeing up a potential "gotcha" two days early, is ginning the mill a little too much.

But as you've pointed out multiple times, Tm John is no genius.

Anonymous said...

AI, do you have a link for the comments regarding Greg Ballard's absentee voting allegedly made by Beth White? I saw this reported on another blog but it had no link either.

I would like to read exactly what she said.


Gary R. Welsh said...

I don't have a link to a media report. It was contained in the GOP's press release. It does not mention a specific media source.

Anonymous said...

Mentioned in a political aprty's news release?

Don't you fact check both parties' releases? You should.

I'll wager Beth White never said it. It's too easy to check. It is a matter of public record that anyone could view, but I don't see Beth White (or Doris Ann Sadler, to be fair) public announcing the top-of-ticket candidate has/hasn't voted absentee. Kinda unseemly.

Can we hold down the hyperbole and nonsense for just 27 more hours?

Anonymous said...

and what polling place are you working at tomorrow, Gary?

Anonymous said...

If you really think this election is going to run smoothly, especially in the Republican areas, I have this great bridge you might be interested in!!

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 2:41, I volunteered my services directly to Tom John months ago. Never heard from anybody. I guess they already had enough volunteers.

Anonymous said... offered...a smart guy comes forward to Tom John, and he doesn't take advantage of it?

Not very smart.

The political parties are in charge of getting judges and clerks. The Clerk of the Court is responsible for getting inspectors.

I'm kinda tired of good people's efforts going unused...regardless of party.

If I'd known, Gary, you could've been a clerk for me...I need Republicans. No one showed up in the primary, and I have no one on the list as of now for tomorrow.

M Theory said...


The Indiana Voters League needs your help. The voter's league and the GOP would still like more help.

The Indiana Voter's League will be handing out endorsement cards at the polls all day and have been circulating these cards around the city for the last couple weeks.

Anonymous said...

Local and frequent commentator Wilson Allen takes several partisan swipes daily on several blogs, and gets swiped back at in return. Having said this fact, I believe in credit being given when it is due as well as criticism.

Today at work while on patrol I saw Wilson walking down the street. Recognizing him from having met him at the Hob-Nob a month or so ago, I greeted him. We discussed tomorrow's elections, and Wilson politely offered me a Andre Carson flyer. After I said I would accept it if he'd put a 'Hegg for At-Large GOP' sign in his yard, we both politely and humorously declined each others offer. In that he had places to go as did I, we parted, and Wilson actually told me "Good luck tomorrow".

He did not have to do that, I wasnt expecting it, but the fact is, regardless of whichever party or candidate one is stumping for, its my hope that tomorrow's election is not problematic at any 917 polling sites, nor are there shenanigans committed by any person on behalf of any candidate. Afterwards, let civility reign and let whoever wins govern well and bi-partisanly in an atmostphere of mutual respect and with the utmost decorum, recognizing that the office is always much more important than the person or party who earned it through the voting public's trust.

Sorry if I've embarrassed you Wilson or maybe blew any image, but I truly appreciated the what I believe to be sincere farewell on your part from you to me.


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

Anonymous said...

Wow, Michael. You're easily influenced.

Talk to any of the numerous folks he's maligned. Their stories would curl your hair.

And who in the hell is "Indiana Voters League" ? I think I'll form "Hoosier Fair Tax Alliance" or "Common Sense Solutions Alliance" or something like that.

Anonymous said...


Having been a Police Officer for several years and in the military for an even longer time, I can assure you I know the difference between BS and not. As I said, Wilson swipes and makes several snide remarks on a daily basis, and he gets whacked at in return. I just thought I'd acknowledge an act of civility, nothing more or less.

"Easily influenced".. I havent heard that one in a long time :)
Anyhow, I'm out..last minute door to door and dropping off supplies at volunteers residence for hand outs tomorrow.


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

Wilson46201 said...

The "Indiana Voters League" is something Melyssa Donaghy whipped up to train voters to get out bondage to the tax collector. She wants to instill strict fiscal discipline and restrain spending.

Anonymous said...

Channel 13 is just now reporting that "people feel less safe in downtown than in previous years" WTF, they wait until this late date to tell people this!!!!!!!

The media in this town makes me want to puke. If FF's and LEO's did our jobs the way the media does it, there would be a revolt of titanic proportions.

Anonymous said...

5:46, you're right, but people made up their minds by now.

Mike, didn't mean any disrespect, but...regardless of your long and valuable police experience, Wilson is and has always been deceptive. If he fooled you, don't worry about it...he's very good at shoveling BS.

For what it's worth, Mike...I'd have voted for you if you weren't a public safety employee. You've been consistently polite and offer a decent message.

But we're full-up on city employees on the council.

By the way--do you feel dissed--your bud is getting all the Tom John love on the at-large race. There's a class act...promoting only one at-large candidate. Nice.

Wilson46201 said...

It's funny an anonymous nobody calling me out for being deceptive and full of BS. That whiner won't even use her own name when making personal attacks. Talk about deceptive!!!

By the way, thanks Mike - you're a gentleman and a scholar!

Anonymous said...

To answer the topic of this thread's question, NO. None ever run smoothly. You can demand that they all open and on time.

Anonymous said...

it's already not running smoothly. i was given the wrong ballot when i voted absentee. they had given someone else my ballot. there was an endorsement card on the table where the judges/clerk were.

everyone was nice as could be and very apologetic. none of this was intentional. nonetheless, it was wrong and would have resulted in two challenged and discarded ballots had i not caught the error.

Anonymous said...

Very clever, Wilson 5:43. That tickled me.

The candidate used the word "bipartisanly"!! Ouch.

Anonymous said...

I don't usually vote along party lines, but this is the closest I have come to it.

There's very good reason for why I voted almost straight ticket Republican - with the exception of Michael Hegg. He's just a sneaky Democrat in Republican's clothing. And his complimenting Wilson only solidified that for me.

Anonymous said...

Wow Medea, just, wow!
I'm fairly clued in to both parties candidates from having watched them at forums, and I've listened to Hegg, and have seen his comments in here. I dont know him personally, but I've been impressed with his campaign which has been clean and done without support of the John idiot crew, but I doubt he'll need your vote anyway.