Saturday, March 17, 2012

Marion County Board of Registration Refuses to Comply with Indiana Law Mandating that Voter Registration Lists be Provided to Nonslated Candidates

Anyone who has ever been an unslated candidates knows that one of the keys to the success of the slate is to keep lists of the party's voters out of the hands of the unslated candidates.  That way the unslated candidate doesn't know who he or she needs to contact for the primary.

The legislature recognized there would be an attempt by party bosses to play games with the lists and passed a law that an electronic copy of the voter registration list SHALL be provided to candidates in accordance with a "nondiscriminatory uniform policy."    IC 3-7-28-5 also requires the information be turned over as well as does Indiana's open records law, IC 5-14-3 et seq.

I received back a humorous letter from the Board's attorney saying - get this - the Board does not have to comply with the state law mandating the Board provide an electronic copy of the voter registration list pursuant to a "nondiscriminatory uniform policy" because the Election Board has not adopted such a policy.  (See letter at bottom - click to enlargen.)  In the letter, the attorney says that the Board "is unable to fulfill or deny [my] records requests until such time as a policy is established."  Then the attorney concludes his letter is "not a denial of access to public records; rather this is an acknowledgement that until such time as a policy is adopted by the Election Board, Voter Registration can neither fulfill nor deny your request."

Really??? In 2010, the Marion County Board of Registration gave me an electronic copy of the voter file when I ran for Pike School Board, a nonpartisan position for which the parties do not slate.  So contrary to the attorney's letter, the Board has provided the voter registration list to candidates despite the Election Board not having adopted the "nondiscrimination" policy.  Thus this isn't about the Election Board not having adopted a policy. This is about the fact I wasn't slated and the party chairman, through the Board of Voter Registration, trying to disadvantage my campaign by not providing to me the list the law requires to be provided.

The two members of the Board of Voter Registration are appointed by the county chairmen who are the ones behind our rigged slating system where the chairman, and not party workers, get to pick the candidates who are endorsed by the party. 

This is a big game to the party bosses Republican County Chairman Kyle Walker and Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy. They know they can never prevail with that ridiculous legal argument.  But they know that the longer they can delay providing the voter registration file to unslated candidates, the better chance they have for the slated candidates to win. One unslated Democratic candidate recently told told me the vote registration file wasn't provided to her until the week before the election, giving her no time to do a mailing to Democratic voters.  I won't wait that long.  Members of the Election Board and Board of Voter can expect to be sued Monday morning. 


Had Enough Indy? said...

Its time for the Election Board to create a policy so that the next person does not have to sue.

It is also time for the budget of the Voter Registration office to be put onto the shoulders of the County Parties, since they are the ones running the place, not the taxpayers of Marion County.

Nicolas Martin said...

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Of all political schemes, democracy is the most fraudulent as it perpetuates the illusion that power is limited and ordinary people control its application.

Paul K. Ogden said...

HEI, it's not a lack of policy. That's just a ruse, Pat. They gave me the list in about 48 hours when I ran for school board in 2010. They didn't have the policy then.

Pete Boggs said...

The law it seems, would be the "policy."

Citizen Kane said...

The election board is serving its role, as gatekeepers, limiting information to the chosen few.

The leaders of these private parties should not have the authority to appoint any one to the election board.

These private parties should not have primaries paid for by the public unless the primaries are open to all, with write-ins allowed, etc.

The whole system is so corrupt; they're nothing but professional thieves.