Partisan case for partisan judges: Who rules on lawsuit over Bloomington plan commission seat?

cropped ecusal Screen Shot 2020-06-21 at 11.39.01 AM
Art based on one of the recusals made by assigned judges in Guenther & Ellis v. Cockerham & Hamilton.

On June 9, a lawsuit was filed in Monroe County’s circuit court disputing the mayoral appointment of the plan commission seat where Chris Cockerham had sat the day before.

In the lawsuit, Andrew Guenther asserts that he has been duly appointed by GOP Monroe County chair William Ellis, and should serve on the commission instead of Cockerham.

It’s not yet decided which judge will hear the case. Owen County circuit judge Kelsey Hanlon, who’s facilitator of District 20, has been asked to appoint a special judge. One of 26 judicial districts the state, District 20 is made up of Monroe, Owen, Lawrence, and Greene counties.

What makes picking a judge a challenge for this case? Partisanship. Continue reading “Partisan case for partisan judges: Who rules on lawsuit over Bloomington plan commission seat?”

Margins, flipped results for mail-in versus in-person make Monroe County election stories

Much of the media coverage of 2020 primary elections focused on the mechanics of voting methods, instead of the campaigns.

That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic led the state election commission to postpone the primaries four weeks, from May 5 to June 2, and to make no-excuse absentee voting available for any voter. That meant every voter could vote by mail, instead of showing up in person to vote on any of the six days before Election Day or the day itself.

In Monroe County, a lot more people voted by mail, ahead of Election Day, than they did in 2016. Of the 26,791 voters who cast a ballot for this year’s primary, 17,785 (66 percent) did it by mail.

The 66 percent who voted by mail this year was more than twice the percentage who voted before Primary Election Day in 2016. The 2016 figure also includes mail-in ballots and in-person ballots cast during the early voting period.

Did the increased percentage of mail-in votes this year affect the outcome of any races? Maybe. Continue reading “Margins, flipped results for mail-in versus in-person make Monroe County election stories”