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Absentee ballots challenged in Marion County

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Republicans in Indiana are challenging early votes again, only this time Marion County absentee ballots are being questioned.

Raymond J. Schoettle, Erica Pugh, and the Marion County Republican Party have filed a complaint in Circuit Court against the Marion County Election Board for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to require the election board to follow Indiana statutes when handling challenged absentee ballots. The plaintiffs also are seeking declaratory judgment ordering absentee ballots cast pursuant to Indiana statute. A hearing was conducted this morning in Marion Circuit Judge Theodore Sosin's courtroom.

In Raymond J. Schoettle, Erica Pugh, and Marion County Republican Party v. Marion County Election Board, No. 49C01-0810-PL-049131, the plaintiffs write in their complaint they are bringing this action to protect the integrity of all forms of absentee balloting in Marion County.

The plaintiffs claim the Marion County Election Board stopped following statutes regarding challenged absentee ballots - whether done through the mail or in person - after the special election in March 2008 to elect the replacement for Congresswoman Julia Carson, who passed away in December. Instead of processing the challenged ballots as provisional ballots and keeping them separate, the suit claims the ballots are immediately put through the machines, creating a risk that fraudulent ballots are being counted.

The suit also claims the election board hasn't issued specific instructions to its precinct election boards regarding challenges to absentee ballots and instructed the precincts to count all absentee ballots.

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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