I have no mercy whatsoever for Republicans or Democrats who violate election laws. They wrote the laws. There can be no excuses from them.
So, get a load of this report out of Fort Wayne, from the Journal Gazette:
The Allen County Republican Party chairman fired the party’s executive director Monday after it was discovered that several party candidates for township offices could be bumped from the ballot because of forged signatures.The Libertarian Party just had eleven candidates withheld from the ballot for failing to meet a technicality. Well! What's good for the goose is good for the gander. These ten or so Republican candidates need to disappear from the ballot immediately if the law is the law, and the Elections Division is providing consistent outcomes.
Steve Shine, party chairman, said he terminated Executive Director Douglas Foy’s contract with the party after he confirmed the signatures were not those of the candidates. Shine declined to comment on whether Foy signed the documents, but said as executive director, he was in charge of ensuring that the forms were properly completed.
Pam Finlayson, county elections director, said the party was having problems meeting the deadline. While she still required the candidates to file the primary part of the form on time, she allowed a secondary part of the form, acknowledging a candidate’s consent to campaign finance laws, to be filed later.
When the secondary parts of the form began arriving, Finlayson said she noticed that the candidate’s signature on one part did not match the candidate’s signature on another part. She said this was evident on about 10 filings. She did not have the exact number or the names of the candidates whose forms were in question late Monday, but they were all for township level offices.
Now personally, I think the booting of candidates is a great disservice to the people of our state, but the bar has been set. I think a better outcome would be that the eleven Libertarian candidates would be certified, and a fine levied against the Libertarian Party for missing the technicality, and everyone there moves on.
In the case of the Republicans, the best outcome might be that the ten or so candidates are put on the ballot, and the Executive Director might face some jail time, if in fact he committed perjury when forging the signatures of candidates.
Jail? From Indiana Code:
Filing fraudulent reports
Sec. 13. A person who knowingly files a report required by IC 3-9 that is fraudulent commits a Class D felony.
As added by P.L.5-1986, SEC.10.
All of the State's campaign forms specify at the bottom of the first page:
A person who knowingly files a fraudulent report commits a Class D felony (IC 3-14-1-13).
Felons go to jail. Pretty simple.
Republicans and Democrats wrote this law. Republicans and Democrats should therefore be the standard bearer and the expemplars in how to do this correctly, and how to bear the consequences when this is done fraudulently- if there is to be integrity in our elections.
Hat tip to Mike Sylvester!