In the local newspaper today August 19, 2012, an opinion letter titled “Grandma couldn’t vote” was published. The letter presents a scenario which isn’t applicable and designed to illicit a response of outrage rather than presenting of facts. If Grandma is over 65, disabled, etc., Grandma can vote Absentee. Grandma will not be required to show an ID or go to the polls. (The letter is available on-line for seven days.)
The Indiana voter law was passed in ’05. The Mid-Term election percentage in ’02 was 39%; ’06 was 40% and 2010 was 41%. Up 2% since the law was passed. The first Presidential election since the law was passed saw a 4% increase. I might want to add, the Presidential primary in ’04 was 21%, ’08 was 40% and ’12 was 22%. It doesn’t appear the voter law had any effect on the first Presidential primary after the law was passed. If people want to vote, the ID will not stand in their way.
Despite these modest increases, the real story is the decline in voting. In 1962 Mid-term election was 70.6% and 1964 Presidential was 79.6%. The 1966 Mid-term saw a 7% decrease and 1968 Presidential decrease was 10%.
The problem isn’t the voter ID law, if one looked at the election results over the past 43 years prior to the law being passed. People have lost interest in the voting process. A local candidate promoted the idea 2010 Delaware County primaries were raided by the Republicans. There was no truth to it, and in my opinion its intended purpose was to foster more voter apathy.
Although the increase in 2010 was small, the last thing you want to do is create an aura of mistrust. It’s encouraging the Mid-term saw an increase even if it was minimal. We want to inform and encourage people to vote, not give them false information designed to weaken the voting confidence.
We don’t purge our voting records, so we can’t be guaranteed the amount of registered voters are still active. So, we must use the data available even though it may be inaccurate or outdated.
Below is the results of the elections in Indiana from 1990-2012 Primary.
It may be true, that most election violations don’t happen at the polls. In Delaware County we have seen our share of shenanigans being played out.
In 1997 indictments were handed down to a former commissioner, Delaware County Democrat party chair and former county engineer. Allegations of county employees working at Democrat Headquarters (ghost employment) and linking government contracts with political contributions. The charges were dismissed. To show the arrogance of the elected officials, not but four years later, they did it again.
It was heard just minutes after their taking office (in January 2001) when they hired political friend Edward (Culpepper) Cooper to take charge of the county’s insurance, a program whose recent skyrocketing cost was sadly predictable.
Democrats’ approach is a citizen turn-off Star Press, The (Muncie, IN) – Sunday, August 25, 2002 Page: 2D
1998 the former Democrat Chair and his sister were indicted for forging papers to have a candidate removed from the ballot. The charges were dismissed against the party chair, the sister wasn’t so fortunate. She was convicted and her charges were changed from a felony to a misdemeanor. The Democrat chair resigned from his position, and the new Democrat chair (our current mayor), appointed him to the election board. Who’s on first?
1999 A Democrat Precinct committee person mailed out 10,000 flyers without a disclaimer. Her attorney argued it was an infringement on her 1st Amendment rights and the case was thrown out. Ten years later, the Democrat Delaware County prosecutor indicted and prosecuted a member of an organization for placing an ad in the local newspaper without a disclaimer. (You can find more on this case at the end of the blog.) The prosecutor in 2010 committed the same crime, lack of disclaimer, and the election board threw it out. It was a blanket immunity, so to speak.
2002 it was disclosed at the hearing (election recount) precinct officials drove unsecured ballot to the county building. A precinct official was found holding hundreds of ballots in his hand. The attorney appointed by the Democrat chairman testified he wasn’t overly concerned when he saw it on election night.
From there we had electioneering by a candidate’s mother, who admitted she did commit the crime. The case sat dormant until all of the witnesses moved or refused to testify. It was dropped.
2007 mayoral recount found AVB violations. One incident included the mailing without the appropriate initials. Seems the Republican failed to add their John Hancock. It could have been an honest mistake, or based on past history it may have been another election snafu. We will never know. That election lead to another indictment by Democrat council person, who was later found guilty and stepped down.
In 2008, late vote registrations were found shoved in a drawer and an anonymous call to the Secretary of State prompted an investigation. The handwriting was similar, nevertheless the registrations were processed but not in time for the election. The primary election of ’08 saw a “ghost” candidate on the ballot. That candidate lost, but garnered around 6,000 votes. Last year she sued the current mayor for unrelated charges, but did admit she was asked to be placed on the ballot.
2010 saw in an influx of candidates on the Republican ticket. They never campaigned and their filing applications had similar handwriting. 2011 a candidate was allowed to use a different name than filed, putting her first on the ballot.. Another candidate jumped through all the legal hoops when she was told it wasn’t acceptable. Go figure.