One thing buried deep in the law is that in Marion County only that there must be a central count of all absentee ballots that are voted. The Ballard Power Grab Law does provide an out. If the Marion County Election Board voted unanimously to allow a different counting procedure other than a central count, then that aspect of the law could be avoided.
Back on October 16. the Election Board voted down a plan that would have restored the old way of counting absentee ballots and a central count is now going to have to happen in the upcoming May Primary.
This means that $600,000 more will be spent on elections, according to Beth White, Marion County Clerk. White says she'll need 100 more election workers and the Election Service Center will need some updating to accommodate the count and the storage of ballots, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Throughout the legislative process, Republican State Representatives like David Frizzell and Bob Behning stood up and extolled the benefits of central counts. Kyle Walker, the Marion County Republican Chair, pledged more ballot security and a cheaper cost. Never could they present a strong argument as to why this change was necessary. Marion County has not had a problem with ballot security. No one was disenfranchised or had their votes compromised.
Beth White, on the other hand, has broken down the cost, according to the Star's Jon Murray. She's not getting any more money from the Mayor's Controller to do anything. So, she'll make do. The Election Board will do a great job running an election, but your vote counts may not come out as quickly. Thanks to the Republican Party, we may not know who won close races on election night any more.
The only thing standing between a central count and the very efficient old way of doing things is one vote. That vote is the vote of the only Republican on the Election Board, Vincent Perez. Two votes from Democrats Beth White and
Frank Mark Sullivan to Perez's one. The "Party of No" strikes again.
Every time we ask a critical question to make it easier to count votes or to make it easier to vote, Republicans become the "Party of NO" in Marion County. They say NO to satellite voting. They say NO to delivering the absentee ballots to the precincts where they can be counted. They say YES to voter ID even though there's no evidence of voter fraud. They say YES to making it harder to register to vote.
Makes you wonder whose side are they on? They want to make it harder for you to register to vote, cast your vote, and have your vote counted. They want to make it more expensive to run elections, but they don't want to provide more money to help run them. They will pass laws to effect ONE county...a county whose voting population becomes more and more Democratic with each passing year.
It's really sad. The Ballard Power Grab's tentacles are starting to spread. We're feeling the ill effects of that the-wrong-kind-of-history-making legislation. Thanks GOP.