« Ind. Gov't. - Charlie White, private citizen, files criminal complaint with prosecutor | Main | Ind. Gov't. - "The steady stream of retirement announcements from the Indiana General Assembly highlights the importance of next year’s legislative contests" »

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ind. Decisions - COA rules in Muncie City Council election dispute

Yesterday's COA opinion in the case of Julius T. Anderson v. Richard M.Ivy (ILB summary here) is the subject of a story today by Douglas Walker in the Muncie Star-Press. Some quotes:

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that while Julius Anderson "violated numerous election laws" during the May 3 primary election, he will remain in place as the Democratic nominee for the District 6 seat on Muncie City Council. * * *

Delaware Circuit Court 3 Judge Linda Ralu Wolf * * * ruled that a special election be held Sept. 12 in precincts 12 and 20, with polling sites that Anderson was accused of repeatedly entering, in violation of election law, while primary voting was under way. * * *

"We are sympathetic to Ivy's argument given Anderson's numerous violations of our election laws and the Precinct 12 poll worker's misinterpretation of those laws and failure to enforce them," Judge Paul D. Mathis wrote in the three-member panel's ruling. "Anderson's conduct was at best, ill-informed, and at worst, reprehensible."

But the judges noted Anderson's misbehavior was limited to only two of the district's six precincts, and "there was no evidence from which we could conclude that Anderson corrupted the election results or that he intimidated or manipulated any voters."

"In other words, there was no evidence from which our court could conclude Anderson's actions substantially undermined the reliability of the election," Mathis wrote.

"Simply said," the judge wrote, "this is not a rare or exceptional case that warrants a special election."

The court did find that Anderson engaged in "electioneering" by campaigning in and just outside of the two polling sites, and noted such behavior can be the grounds for prosecution on a Class A misdemeanor charge.

Here is the report from Ballot Access News.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 12, 2011 08:47 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions