Friday, February 29, 2008

Beth White Is Disenfrachising Voters Again

Many of you recall last year's primary election fiasco when Marion Co. Clerk Beth White's office failed to open up dozens of polling places on election day on time, and several polling places failed to open at all, disenfranchising thousands of voters in Marion County. White's office is up to its old habits. A precinct in Decatur Township has been incorrectly placed in the 4th congressional district instead of the 7th congressional district where it belongs. As a consequence, voters attempting to cast absentee ballots in the 7th district special election are being turned away. A press release from the Marion Co. GOP explains:

The Election Board incorrectly classified the Decatur-08 precinct (formerly Decatur-13 and Decatur-18) as in the 4th Congressional District instead of the 7th District. Therefore, when Decatur Township Assessor Jason Holliday, a voter in Decatur-08, sent in an application to vote on an absentee ballot, he was denied an absentee ballot. Mr. Holliday alerted Chairman John whereupon inquiries to the Election Board were made and it was learned that other voters in the precinct were either denied absentee ballots or some who received absentee ballots would not have their votes counted because of the lingering computer glitch which would prevent those votes from being counted. Amazingly, when asked, Clerk Beth White’s office indicated they were not going to make any effort to replace these absentee ballots or contact the voters.

Conveniently, the disenfranchisement of this Republican precinct will work to the advantage of the anointed Democratic candidate Andre Carson. Marion Co. GOP Chairman Tom John is demanding White correct the problem immediately to avoid a repeat of last year's primary where thousands of Marion Co. voters were denied their right to vote.

UPDATE: A change of heart on the part of White's office after the complaint became public according to this report from the Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy.


Wilson46201 said...

Hoary story: only about 215 voters usually voted in those 5 precincts. True, 215 is too many but it's hardly the THOUSANDS the Republicans still whine about...

Anonymous said...

Geography was never really her strong point.

Anonymous said...

Not the least bit surprising. I'm sure Wilson will explain it for us.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Doris Ann.

Seriously, this should post should be titled, "You've Got To Be kidding."

Democrats lose so much credibility on voter ID because of such incompetence, and, nonchalance over voter disenfranchisement.

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice how Wilson always has a way to explain away wrong doing by Democrats?

If this were a Republican Wilson would be calling for blood. The mere fact that Beth has been called out, and refuses to fix the injustice, Wilson dilutes the soup with his tired lack of ethics.

Why is it okay for democrats to skirt the election laws, but if a Republican does it it is hell to pay and pending indictment?

Wilson E. Allen appears to be a double talker and an appologist for a party that has been hijacked by socialists!

Anonymous said...

This was not in my paper today/??

only online /star today

Star helping cover this up??

Will it be in tomorrows paper as a headline?

Anonymous said...

Issue over. Next.


jon porter said...

And Jon Elrod won his house seat by eight votes.

Anonymous said...

The next poll needs to be whether Doris Anne Sadler or Beth White is the most incompetent clerk of all time. Beth is making a run for the title, but it would be hard to duplicate the four years of complete incompetence Doris Anne Sadler showed. Of course, DAS only received her position because the then party big wigs Keeler, Schneider and Cottey knew that DAS would be a rubberstamp to whatever they wanted to do.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Sadler's problems were largely exaggerated by Ed Treacy. Also, many of the problems rested with the voting machine vendor and not her, although she took the brunt of the criticsm because she chose the vendor.

Anonymous said...

I suspect this was a plot by the republicans to get more anti Burton votes in their they get rid themselves of that cancer known as Danny Burton.

Susie Q Public said...

I'm sure Beth White woke up one day and decided she wanted to disenfranchise a few Decatur Township voters. Mistake made, mistake pointed out, mistake fixed. Again, if this is the best you guys can come up with then Andre's got it in the bag. I'm sure Doris Ann made many such errors but Brendan Shaughnessy only lies in wait for Democratic errors. He and Tulley have GOT to be on the Republican payroll. I'm sure Pulliam takes his cut too. You guys are a joke.

Anonymous said...

Beth White has a habit of disenfranchising voters.
She swore up and down that she could run an election better than Doria Ann Sadler, and ended up with egg on her face the first time around.
Still blames Doris Ann for her troubles.
Face it, Beth. You SUCK as a clerk!

Anonymous said...

Oh I see Gary, this item was not exaggerated by John. Right.


Anonymous said...

The problem I have with this cover-up is the fact that these 215 voters were probably still living when they voted. This contradicts and violates every Democratic conception of voting rights.

I bet Beth White thought be a Clerk was easy. With honest and conscientious (Republican)poll workers it was.

Anonymous said...

No, Gary, on this one, you're wrong, respectfully.

I've worked at the polls for almost three decades. Also been involved in three recounts over that timeframe...recounts give you an inside look at the vote counting administration. It was whacked out and startingly inept every single time--all under Republicans.

Beth has made her errors. I never heard her run from any of them. Doesn't make them right, but she steps up.

DAS oversaw the purchase of expensive and largely outdated voting machines, from a Republican-contributing vendor whose national vote-rig reputation was well-documented. And whose incompetence was equally documented. When Democrats and the press screamed, she sought limp civil litigation against the company, and settled for a paltry amount late in her term. This was after Republicans nationwide had raped the VoteAmerica Act and its coffers for their friends' companies, but that sort of nonsense is nothing new. That moeny ws a result of Congress's actions after the 200 presidential vote fiasco, and it was intended to secure our vote-counting apparatus nation-wide. Bushies treated the fund like a piggy bank for favored firms.

But DAS's most-aggregious act was to prop up the Republican machine as it was in its dying county office days. In 2003, the City County Council's redistricting was ultimately supported by the Election Board and went through two legal rounds before losing (it should've lost in Judge Bradford's court, but that's another issue...)

And, lest we forget, she oversaw ballot design for a countywide election that was later ruled improper by a court. Because it would've given unfair advantage to Republicans. And because it was never done before, but hey, screw the voters any time you can, if you can kepe your party in power, right?

Those two legal actions were the dying breaths of the county Republican Party, and they lost everything in 2004. I mean, when Democrats can elect Mary Catherine Barton and Bones Ackles, you're at the bottom of the heap Republican-wise.

The cost of those stupid legal actions was immense. On a county treasury that was barely scraping by. I've heard it was over a half million, but I am not sure.

To be fair to DAS, she was only doing the bidding of the county GOP organization. But when in doubt about election matters, why not err on the side of voter protection and integrity, instead of on the side of protectionism?

No, thanks...DAS can stay in retirement. This office is important, and running elections is difficult, as Beth has discovered. But I don't doubt for a minute that she has the right ideas in mind.

Cutting the number of precincts was step one. Mar. 11 will go off just fine. May 6 will, too.

With help, by the way, from good civic-minded folks of both parties countywide. Tom John needs to crawl back under that rock and stay put.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
"But I don't doubt for a minute that she has the right ideas in mind."

Then you must not have talked to Democrat insiders who absolutely cannot stand her. They do not share your view of her.

Beth White invited this criticism. She campaigned on running on better elections. The result? Polls didn't open last may. Some did open late, but some did not open at all. That's not a technological problem. That's a MANAGEMENT problem, which is her job.

I'm glad you brought up the issue with DAS. You do know that the Democrat Co-Director of the Indiana Election Division approved that ballot stuff, right? YOu know, the one a court through out? You did know that, didn't you?


Anonymous said...

I've been a Republican party person since the 1990s. Anyone who says Sadler's problems in the Clerk's Office were "exaggerated" either has a bad memory or a selective memory. Look back at the newspapers after every election during Sadler's tenure. Every election involved a significant, if not major, screwup. She was an enormous embarassment to the Republican Party.

My favorite was the year numerous precincts ran out of ballots. Since that screwup we poll workers get about 20 times the ballots than we can ever use and have to lug them around when the supplies are turned in. Thanks DAS.

Also, gotta love the ballot litigation. DAS's interpretation was clearly not supported by the law. Yet he insisted on litigating the matter, paying out tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to attorneys who supported her in slating. Of course she lost the lawsuit.

Sadler did not have the qualifications or the experience to be Clerk. She was hand-picked by Keeler/Cottey/Schneider because they knew she would do whatever she told them to.

Anonymous said...

Cutting the number of precincts is only a temporary fix. Getting away from the old-fashioned neighborhood precicts polling places and moving to larger voting centers, where people can vote anyplace in the county, is the future. You have to reduce the labor involved in putting on elections.

Anonymous said...

What is the deal....a mistake made and it has been corrected NO ONE will lose the right to vote...seems to be like there is a lot of hysteria and overkill going here.

Jon E. Easter said...

It appears that this was a voter registration office error. Beth White ran a great election in November, and I have confidence that she will run a great election again on March 11.

That said, this is a major error, and it does concern me about the process. I don't understand why all of this HAD to happen this year. It would seem to me that the re-precincting would have been a better activity for next year when there were no elections.

It also disappoints me that some are putting down the efforts of fellow Democrats in Decatur Township. We may have gotten our butts beaten in November, but we were within hailing distance of the assessor and the small claims court judge offices down here in November of 2006.

Because of the bi-partisan effort down here in Decatur Township, all our polls open on time. They open with full staffs, and the sites are run efficiently and fairly. Republicans and Democrats respect each other in Decatur Township and we will continue to work together to make sure that our polling sites continue to be the model for Marion County.

Anonymous said...

AR: you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

The Democratic co-director of the Indiana Elections Division's "approval" of the DAS city council ballot in question, was not required.

A court threw it out. Period.

DAS and the 2-1 Republican election board voted to change the ballot party symbol designs and placement, for the first time in modern memory, making straight-ticket voting more difficult for Democrats. It was a clumsy and ridiculously partisan attempt to tilt the election. It didn't work.

The position was indefensible. A court agreed. And it cost us over a hundred grand to defend a stupid position that should never have been taken in the first place. Ditto the council district lines that unduly benefitted Republican Judge Bradford's brother.

DAS always was the tool of the dying Republican old-line machine. She did their bidding well. She's gone; this is a Democratic county now (notwithstanding last fall's mayoral election).


Anonymous said...

Wilson46201 says its "only about 215 voters . . .." It is the apparent comment of a democrat whose party has rightfully fought for years for the rights of every person's vote to count. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster. Hopefully my party, the GOP, learned its lesson with Doris Anne Sadler.

In this new climate where Republicans are the minority in the county, the county GOP needs to slate county-wide candidates who are independent (dare I say "outspoken"?) and who can get Democratic and independent votes. If we continue to nominate county-wide candidates based on the fact they'll ratify, without question, what the GOP Chairman and others party leaders want, those folks will never get elected.

Anonymous said...

I went to the county election board website to see what they've been up to. To my surprise, there aren't ANY meeting minutes posted for fully the past two years.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
"The Democratic co-director of the Indiana Elections Division's "approval" of the DAS city council ballot in question, was not required."

Ah, my mistake - it seems we're talking about two different ballots. No, her approval would not have been required for that ballot you are speaking of (which, I think, was going to group candidates by party instead of office, correct?)

The part I'm talking about related to the use of a logo or phrase on the ballot (I think it was the ABC phrase or something.)

I forgot there were two ballot items.