Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 7, 2012

Ballot problems in Miami County cause confusion

Absentee ballots opened in clerk’s office.

Peru — Nine absentee ballots received in the Miami County Clerk’s office have been opened and are likely not to be counted on election day.

The ballots were opened on Sept. 26 and Miami County Clerk Tawna Leffel and Paul Wilson, deputy clerk in the Voter Registration office believe the ballots will be counted on election day.

Wilson said county officials had two options, reissue the ballots and destroy the originals or keep the ballots as they are, count them on election day and document the chain of events.

He said the election board choose option two to count the ballots, but added an investigation continues.

Wilson said the ballots were not removed from the envelope, the envelope was sealed and placed in a secure locked box until election night.

Vicki Wheeler, chairman of the Miami County Democratic Party, said Friday the ballots will not be counted because state law prohibits them from being included in the election results if they have been opened before election day.

She said Dick Lancaster, the Democratic Party member of the Miami County Election Board will not allow the opened ballots to be counted.

Wheeler believes county officials should contact the nine voters and have them certify their ballot choices and seal them in a new envelope or cast a new ballot.

“How many other ballots were opened? We don’t know if the ballots were changed or marked in anyway,” she said.

Wheeler intends to contact the nine effected voters and inform them their ballots were opened.

Leslie Barnes, an attorney with the Indiana Election Division, said by state law because the envelopes were opened the ballots should not be counted.

She said if there is a request for a recount or a contested election the ballots could be counted because of a mistake by an election official.

Barnes said the nine voters should be contacted and asked to cast a replacement ballot.

“The law doesn’t require the clerk to notify the voters,” she said. “But the effected voters should be notified.”

Barnes said with election day more than three weeks away on Nov. 6, there is enough time for the voters to be contacted and cast another ballot.

She said if all the elected officials were to agree that the opened ballots should be counted on election day, because county officials implement the law.

Barnes said the best action to take would be to contact the nine voters.

Wilson said having the voters cast new ballots has been considered in the election board discussions.

“We’re moving slowly to assertion the correct procedures,” he said. “We want to uphold the voter’s intent.”

Leffel said the ballots were not compromised and Miami County officials contacted state officials.

“The ballots will be counted, we followed state law,” she said.

However, Barnes indicated the nine opened ballots should not be counted according to state law.

Since Sept. 26 there has been a change in procedures on how mail is being handled. The mail, which used to be sorted in the Clerk’s office, is now being brought directly to the Voter Registration office and the absentee ballots are being placed in a secure locked box.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS - Summer Fest 02 Russiaville Summer Fest starts Friday RUSSIAVILLE — You think you can knock a baseball out of the park? There's a contest for that. If you love to sing, there's an activity for that. If you're afraid to sing but know the words to your favorite song, there's an activity for that, too. The

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • July 2014 has been the coldest on record Veteran Indiana residents are familiar with the old adage as it pertains to weather: "Hang out, it's sure to change." And, change it has. Just 24 months removed from the hottest July on record in 2012, the National Weather Service announced late Thur

    July 31, 2014

  • Trial dates moved in Wagoner clinic drug case Trial dates for seven of the eight people charged in the Wagoner Clinic prescription drug case have been moved to Oct. 3. Several of the suspects including Marilyn Wagoner, the wife of Donald Wagoner, the former head of the clinics, were set to stand

    July 31, 2014

  • One injured in motorcycle crash A 50-year-old man suffered chest injuries when he crashed his motorcycle at Washington and Lafountain streets Wednesday afternoon. A Kokomo Police Department accident report stated Tommie Barger of Kokomo was driving a 1983 Honda 1100 south on Lafoun

    July 31, 2014

  • Waterford Place looking to expand More senior living options could be on the way in Kokomo. Waterford Place Health Campus, located in the 800 block of St. Joseph Drive, is looking to expand with 11 new senior duplexes after receiving approval from the Kokomo Plan Commission’s plat co

    July 31, 2014

  • BMV offering driver tests in 11 languages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering drivers tests in 11 languages other than English that are spoken across Indiana. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said Wednesday the decision was made at the urging of businesses, un

    July 31, 2014

  • Tionna Brown 02 Kokomo celebrates Tionna Brown's gold medal victories Little boys with pretend gold medals around their necks fought Wednesday to get their pictures taken with a pint-sized superstar who had won three real gold medals for herself. Twelve-year-old Tionna Brown just returned from Texas after competing in

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • KFD Rescue 2 Staffing changes leave Kokomo Fire Department with one rescue truck

    A shift in how the Kokomo Fire Department is staffed and responds to calls has some firefighters worried they will not have access to all the equipment they need. City officials, however, maintain there will be no change in the quality of service pro

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kokomo Police officers reach out to public Tuesday Kokomo police will be out in full force Tuesday in area neighborhoods. In addition to their regular patrols, officers will be out getting to know residents and the issues they may have as part of National Night Out, a crime prevention event. National

    July 30, 2014

  • Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years. A report from the Department of Health and Human Serv

    July 30, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries