Local political leaders are hoping for a quick legal decision in their efforts to stop the Wayne County clerk from dropping unopposed candidates from the ballot this fall. County Clerk Jo Ann Stewart is following amended Indiana Code 3-10-6-7.5 in striking the names of unopposed candidates for Richmond Common Council in the Nov. 8 election.
The code reads in part, “An election may not be held for a municipal office if: There is only one nominee for the office or only one person has filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate under IC 3-8-2-2.5.” The law took effect July 1.
Wayne County Democrats and Republicans filed an injunction Thursday to stop the names of unopposed candidates — Democrat Kelley Cruse-Nicholson in District 2, Republican Clay Miller in District 4 and Republican Larry Parker in District 6 — from being eliminated from the ballot.
… The law, sponsored by Noblesville Republican Rep. Kathy Richardson, is designed to cut election costs and create more efficient ballots.
Hutton, who is the Richmond mayor, said the change will not save taxpayers money and will only “discourage voters from taking part in the process.”
“It does disenfranchise voters,” Hutton said. “It’s unfair to voters and to candidates. How can a person win if nobody votes for them? The law was not well thought out.”