Check your voter registration: Election board reviews registration postcard confirmations, no fresh news on registration fraud allegation

At its meeting last Thursday, Monroe County’s three-person election board got an update on the state election division’s effort to update voter registration rolls, with a postcard mailing.

Registered voters should have received a postcard mailing in late May, confirming their registration to vote at the address where the postcard was delivered. Registration can also be confirmed online.  [It’s the “Check Voting Status” option.]

The registration confirmation postcards are part of the state’s process for reducing outdated voter records. For people who receive an accurate card with their name on it, no action is requested.

Election officials want people who received a postcard with a name they don’t recognize to write “Return to Sender” on the card and put it in a mailbox.

That doesn’t cancel anyone’s voter registration, but it does activate the second step in a process the state uses to try to keep voter rolls updated. Continue reading “Check your voter registration: Election board reviews registration postcard confirmations, no fresh news on registration fraud allegation”

Journalist’s voter registration under different name sent by election board to Monroe County prosecutor as potential fraud: “I was testing the system.”

At its regular meeting last Thursday, Monroe County’s three-member election board voted to forward a case it considers to be possible voter registration fraud to the county prosecutor’s office for review.

Screenshot of May 13, 2021 Monroe County election board meeting. Image links to CATS recording of meeting cued to the spot where discussion of the voter registration case starts.

The case came after the Nov. 3, 2020 election took place, and does not involve ballots that have been cast in an election.

As described at the board’s meeting, the case involved the registration of a voter name that did not match the name on the driver’s license that was used as a credential for the registration.

“It seems like a made-up name,” said Monroe County’s election supervisor Karen Wheeler at last Thursday’s meeting.

Election board chair Carolyn VandeWiele acknowledged at Thursday’s meeting that staff erred when they accepted a name as valid for registration that did not match the name on the credential.

The name of the person now under investigation was not mentioned at the board’s Thursday meeting.

Based on details of the story that were mentioned at the board meeting, The Square Beacon reached out to journalist Margaret Menge, now a Bloomington resident. Menge confirmed that she had submitted information through the online system, with the outcome, as she described it: “They registered a person who doesn’t exist.”

Menge added, “I was testing the system. I don’t think the system is as tight and secure as they think it is.” Continue reading “Journalist’s voter registration under different name sent by election board to Monroe County prosecutor as potential fraud: “I was testing the system.””

Column: Poll workers get paid as much as $165, so sign up early

OK, Monroe County, the headline pretty much says it all. Read more about getting a gig as a poll worker at the Monroe County Election Central website.

Temporary driver’s license issued on Sept. 1, 2020. Registration to vote was accomplished with the same trip to the BMV. The deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 5.

Working the polls is honest work for honest pay. Here in Monroe County Indiana, poll workers get paid up to $165 plus $25 for training. That’s for inspectors. The pay for clerks and judges is $135.

A bunch of workers will be needed for the Nov. 3 election this year—more than usual.

Why? The COVID-19 pandemic means there will be more mailed-in absentee ballots this year, even if no-excuse absentee voting has not been approved like it was for the primary.

Those mailed-in ballots have to stay in their envelopes until Election Day. Only then can they be opened. That takes a lot of hands, in a short span of time.

The usual crew of poll workers includes a lot of older folks. Precautions against COVID-19 are being taken at polling sites. But some regulars might not feel 100-percent confident about working the polls this year, given their age bracket’s higher risks connected to COVID-19 infection. That means others will need to step up. Continue reading “Column: Poll workers get paid as much as $165, so sign up early”

Election board OKs 3 of 23 provisional ballots from June 2 primaries

Election Board Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 5.12.23 PM
As Monroe County election board chair Hal Turner put it, everything the board did on Friday was based on Indiana’s election code. (Screen grab from video of meeting to which the image links.)

In a Friday afternoon meeting that lasted just a bit over a half hour, Monroe County’s election board reviewed 23 provisional ballots cast at the June 2 primary elections.

That’s about a minute and 20 seconds per ballot.

The board accepted three provisional ballots and rejected the other 20. Provisional ballot review was the only item of business for the three member board, which consists of the county clerk, Nicole Browne, and two members appointed by the county chairs of the two major political parties. Continue reading “Election board OKs 3 of 23 provisional ballots from June 2 primaries”