Kokomo — Tom Haney has a website, which claims he’s running for the U.S. Senate.
The state of Indiana, however, doesn’t have him listed as an official candidate.
Tuesday, Haney apparently overcame that obstacle, garnering 200 votes in Howard County, according to unofficial election results posted on the Howard County Clerk’s website.
A Warsaw physician, Haney seemingly considered running for the GOP Senate nomination won Tuesday by Dan Coats.
But Dale Simmons, attorney for the Indiana Election Division, said Haney never submitted paperwork to be on the statewide ballot as a candidate.
Tuesday evening, Howard County Republicans were puzzled by the votes coming in for Haney.
As the vote totals were written on the whiteboard at county GOP headquarters, Haney’s name wasn’t listed.
“I don’t even know who that is,” Howard County Republican Party Chairman Craig Dunn said Wednesday. “He isn’t even a qualified candidate, because only five guys were certified.”
The Associated Press, which tabulated statewide vote totals, also didn’t list Haney as a candidate.
Most importantly, the Indiana Election Division never certified Haney to be on the Howard County ballot.
The certified candidate list, sent from the election division to Howard County Clerk Mona Myers on March 8, shows Don Bates Jr., Richard Behney, Coats, John Hostettler and Marlin Stutzman as the GOP U.S. Senate candidates.
Myers wasn’t available for comment Wednesday, but Tuesday, she said “the state certified the ballot” when asked about the votes coming in for Haney.
Efforts to review an actual Republican ballot cast in Howard County were unsuccessful Wednesday, so it was unclear whether Haney’s name was on the ballot.
If it was, it shouldn’t have been, Simmons said.
A secretary answering the phone at Haney’s medical practice Wednesday said Haney was in Haiti and unavailable for comment.
Simmons said Wednesday he hadn’t received calls from any other county, asking about Haney’s presence on the ballot.
He said the fact Coats won the Senate race by more than 56,000 votes over second-place Stutzman probably makes the Haney votes unimportant.
“What does it mean for the election? Probably nothing, because it’s 200 votes, when you have an election decided by tens of thousands of votes,” Simmons said. “How does that make it impossible to tell who fairly won the election?”
Still, until Myers can clarify what happened, the votes for Haney will remain a mystery.
“Two things: One, how did he get on the ballot?” Dunn said. “Two, who are the 200 people who voted for him?”
• Scott Smith is a Kokomo Tribune staff writer. He may be reached at 765-454-8569 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org