Uncontested candidates in the fall municipal elections will appear on the ballot in Allen County, at least for now. The county election board on Thursday unanimously voted to place the names on the ballot despite a state law saying the names should not appear.
Andrew Boxberger, the Democratic board member, said the board believed the new state law was ambiguous. “If it’s ambiguous, we are going to err on what is in the best interest of the voters,” Boxberger said. He said that after reaching the decision, the county’s election director has raised new questions about the issue and it might be revisited when the board meets next week.
The state legislature this year approved a law requiring county clerks to omit names of unopposed candidates from the ballot. The little-discussed law was intended to save money and make it easier for voters to read ballots. Boxberger, however, said this could cause large confusion for voters after historically having every candidate appear on the ballot.
If the names were removed, he said, there would be entire precincts in New Haven with no ballot, who essentially wouldn’t be able to vote on Election Day.
“That’s extremely confusing to voters,” Boxberger said.