Oregon: Taxpayers stuck with bill for a cumbersome ‘open primary’ that features just one candidate | OregonLive.com

Oregon taxpayers have to spend $200,000 on a cumbersome elections process that will ask the state’s nearly 440,000 unaffiliated voters if they want a Republican primary ballot that features just one candidate. Republican and Democratic Party officials are each accusing the other of wasting taxpayer money while in pursuit of a partisan advantage. About the only thing that’s clear is that only one Republican has even signed up to run for the three statewide seats that the GOP opened to voters who don’t register in any political party. That’s left everybody feeling a little frustrated. “There’s not much benefit,” fumed Rob Kremer, treasurer of the Oregon Republican Party, “in taxpayer money being spent to no purpose.”

Indiana: Bill putting all candidates on Indiana ballots gets 50-0 vote | pal-item.com

The Senate voted 50-0 for Senate Bill 233. The bill has moved to the Indiana House and the House Committee on Elections and Apportionment had its first reading of the bill Tuesday. The new bill aims to reverse a ballot provision that was part of a comprehensive election law approved in 2011 that removed unopposed candidates’ names from city election ballots to save money. Last fall, city candidates in several cities, including Richmond, went to court over the omission of their names from the ballot.

Indiana: Election law bill passes Indiana Senate by unanimous vote | WLFI

State Senator Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) authored Senate Bill 233, which unanimously passed the Senate Tuesday by a 50-0 vote. The bill would change a law passed last session, which removed the names of unopposed municipal candidates from the election ballot. The law’s intent was to save money by eliminating the need to print ballots where municipal candidates were unopposed. According to a news release, Alting said the decision to remove names of unopposed candidates was made based on good intentions but created some unexpected consequences. While the deletion of those candidates may have saved some printing costs, it increased voter confusion.

Indiana: Election officials work out details of ballot ruling | Journal and Courier

Absentee voters in Tippecanoe County will not be sent new ballots with names of all candidates running in November’s municipal election. Instead, the 69 absentee ballots sent between Sept. 23 and noon Wednesday will be reviewed and entered by hand using a bipartisan team, Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey said Thursday.

It’s the latest development to come out of a civil lawsuit filed by Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, West Lafayette Clerk-Treasurer Judy Rhodes and others challenging a new Indiana law that said names of unopposed municipal candidates may not be placed on ballots.

Both Roswarski, a Democrat, and Rhodes, a Republican, are running unopposed in November. Tippecanoe Circuit Court Judge Don Daniel on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction keeping an election law passed earlier this year from taking effect in Tippecanoe County.

Indiana: Election law slipped by GOP leaders | South Bend Tribune

If getting people to vote wasn’t hard enough already, a new Indiana law will further stifle democratic spirit on Nov. 8. The measure removes from the ballot municipal candidates who are unopposed. What’s disturbing is that the idea became law in the first place.

In hindsight, key legislative leaders call it a mistake. “I don’t like it,” said Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, who as House Speaker signed off on an election law package that included the offending language. “It’s terrible public policy.” He and Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, say they’ll fix the law next session. But that won’t happen in time for Election Day when folks in some parts will show up to vote — and find little to do.

In Johnson County, voters may spend more time parking, walking into a polling site and checking in than they will casting ballots, Clerk Sue Anne Misiniec told the Daily Journal. New Whiteland and Trafalgar won’t hold elections because there are no contested candidates.

Indiana: Landske: Keeping uncontested races on ballot up to counties | NWI Times

The chairwoman of the Indiana Senate Elections Committee believes the uproar over a new law allowing election officials to drop uncontested races from the ballot is a lot of fuss over nothing. State Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, co-sponsored House Enrolled Act 1242, which eliminates a requirement that even candidates without an opponent be listed on the ballot.

“It should reduce the size of the ballot,” Landske said, which she believes will save money. Though the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency projects any savings from shorter optical-scan ballots will be “minimal.”

Critics of the change say leaving candidates off the ballot is antidemocratic and likely to confuse voters who will wonder why they could only vote for certain offices. That has led election officials in Lake County, and in counties across Indiana, to announce they plan to ignore the law and list every candidate in every race, even unopposed candidates.

Indiana: How much would you pay to cast a meaningless vote? | The News-Sentinel

Perhaps the right to vote is priceless. But should taxpayers really have to shell out more than $1,500 for the right to cast purely symbolic ballots in an election devoid of races, drama and any tangible value?

Turns out the answer to that seemingly outlandish question is yes – at least if you live in New Haven. When members of the Allen County Election Board last week unanimously agreed to place the names of unopposed candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot despite a new state law to the contrary, they may have thought they were upholding a higher principle: that even the lack of an opponent shouldn’t disenfranchise people whose right to vote was bought with blood, not money. In most cases it would be a nice – if meaningless – gesture.

But not in New Haven, where two polling places that were to have been closed in November because of the total lack of contested races must now be opened, fully staffed and equipped – just so anybody who bothers to show up can futilely vote in elections that were decided long ago.

Indiana: Allen County ballots to include unopposed candidates | The Journal Gazette

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.

Indiana: All candidates will be on ballot | Palladium-Item

Unopposed candidates in this fall’s municipal election in Richmond will have their names on the ballot thanks to a decision Monday by Wayne Superior Court No. 2 Judge Greg Horn.

Horn granted an injunction stopping Wayne County Clerk Jo Ann Stewart from omitting the names of unopposed candidates from local ballots. Stewart was following a new state law, effective July 1, that required county clerks across the state to omit names of unopposed candidates.