Election Board Members:
On Monday, March 1, 2010, I was contacted by phone by Steve Craycraft, Delaware County Clerk, and informed that Will Statom of Voter’s Registration filed a challenge (based on an address discrepancy) against my application for candidacy (District 3, County Council). A meeting was scheduled by the Election Board to address this issue for 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 3, in the Clerk’s Office. The following information is presented, and I ask that it be read and/or included into the record of today’s proceedings.
The previous week, on Wednesday, February 24, 2010, I was contacted by Shareen Wagley, Republican Vice-Chairman, to advise me that my candidacy for a seat on the County Council, District 3, was withdrawn due to an address mismatch, a discrepancy discovered by Voter’s Registration. At that time, it was already too late for me to “formally” withdraw from the campaign (deadline of 12 noon on February 22), but I understood that I was no longer a candidate. In other words, to my knowledge there was no issue and nothing else needed be done by me, and as I am given to understand by Mr. Craycraft, this Election Board meeting is merely a formality.
In 2008 I moved to my now current address in the south end of Muncie, a move which allowed me to remain in the Precinct 22 area. In the fall of that same year, my Mother (who lived on the north edge of Muncie) was deemed terminally ill and required my presence as a full-time caregiver. Even though I was with her constantly at her home, I continued to maintain (including payment of utilities) the south side residence where all my belongings remained with the exception of a few items of clothing. From time to time, when my own “free” time and health situation would allow, I would spend the night at my south side residence. In fact, I rested there for several days following surgery in mid-December 2009. Until this very day, I have remained a resident of that south side property.
However, because it was becoming more difficult to leave my Mother for a length of time (to travel across town to retrieve my mail), sometime late last summer I placed a temporary change of address with the U.S. Post Office, asking that my mail be delivered to my Mother’s residence. Again, the request for change was marked “temporary.”
Then in November 2009 I renewed my driver’s license. I was told by the BMV clerk that I needed to reflect the address where I was living and receiving mail currently (temporary or not), so I changed my license address to reflect that of my Mother’s residence, and I agreed to an update of my Voter’s Registration.
I thought no more about it in the period that followed—Thanksgiving, Christmas—culminating with the death of my Mother at the very end of December. After boxing up and moving her belongings, I returned full-time to my south side residence, and around mid-January placed a change of address with the Post Office to receive mail here once again. In the mental fuzziness that surrounds one after the loss of a loved one, I never once thought about changing my driver’s license to again reflect my south side address—an action which evidently would have carried the key to ‘unlock’ the door to District 3 candidacy.
And then I filed as a candidate for District 3, County Council on February 19.
Understanding the nature of politics, and as a student of politics in this town, it’s possible that some will try to make much more of this than is true or even necessary. But, the bottom line is this…my Precinct 22 residence did not change, in spite of temporary mailing and driver’s license addresses. However, I do not believe there needs to be any question in potential voters’ minds of anything untoward in the campaign of a Republican candidate in a heavily Democrat district. Therefore, I will not challenge this issue.
While I believe my personal situation was unique, I do caution citizens and hopeful candidates alike to remain ever mindful of keeping up to date all address/voter registration information.
Carol A. Bouslog