Wayne County Democrats issue Nov. 4 statement on vote count proceedings, other election concerns

Wayne County’s Democratic Party chair Beth Harrick shared this statement on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 4, with local media regarding November 2020 Election Day and vote count proceedings. RELATED ARTICLE: WAYNE COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED

“Above the desire to elect any one candidate, the Wayne County Democratic Party is committed to protecting the interests of voters and the integrity of the election process. On October 28th we became aware of a serious discrepancy between the Indiana state statute (IC 3-11-14-30) and how Wayne County Poll Workers were being trained by the Wayne County Clerk’s office. The discrepancy was in regards to documenting the final per-precinct, per-candidate tally of votes at each polling site, prior to the election machinery being removed and taken to the Courthouse for a merged final count.

WAYNE COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED!

More than 24 hours after polls closed in Wayne County, the unofficial election results were released to the public via the Voters Registration website. Familiar faces are returning to Wayne County coroner and clerk offices as well as some of its school boards. They also voted overwhelmingly for Republican candidates in state and national races. RELATED ARTICLES: Wayne County Democrats issue Nov. 4 statement on vote count proceedings, other election concerns

5 p.m. update: Nearly 3,700 ballots, envelopes still being reconciled

Wayne County waiting on election results 18 hours after polls close

CORONER
After a few years away from the office, Kevin Fouche, a Republican, was elected again as coroner with 66.63 percent of the vote over Robert “Brent” Meadows.

5 p.m. update: Nearly 3,700 ballots, envelopes still being reconciled

Wayne County might go another night before election results are made public. Bipartisan teams and the Voters Registration Office staff are painstakingly reviewing the nearly 3,700 mail-in absentee ballots cast in the 2020 election to make sure each one is counted. Wayne County Clerk Debra Berry said the process begins when a voter requests an absentee ballot. The voter is sent an absentee ballot and a secure envelope for its return. The voter marks their ballot and returns that ballot to the Voters Registration Office in the secure envelope.

Fayette County among country’s worst for COVID numbers; Wayne County moves closer to red level

Fayette County health officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 4, that the county has some of the worst COVID-19 statistics in the country. It ranks in the top 100 worst counties in the United States for cases per hundred thousand on a seven-day rolling average. In addition, Fayette County is Indiana’s only county to remain in the red level, 3, which is the state’s worst, for COVID-19 for the second straight week. On Wednesday, Fayette County’s Health Officer, Dr. Wayne White, recommended that all Fayette County schools curtail all extracurricular activities from Nov.

Wayne County waiting on election results 18 hours after polls close

Wayne County election officials are still winding down the count of votes collected Tuesday and in the preceding weeks through early voting, mailed ballots and the traveling board. Shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday, no results were yet available on the county’s website. Polls closed at 6 p.m. Tuesday and few if any voters were standing in line at that time, based on a reporter’s visit to four of the county’s eight vote centers around that time. Wayne County Clerk Debra Berry said the mail-in absentee ballots and the ballots collected by the traveling poll board, who visit shut-ins and others, were a part of the delay in finishing the vote counting Tuesday night. Having to print the results tapes of results for each precinct at the polling places instead of bringing the equipment to the courthouse as usual also threw off the regular schedule and added more time to the counting, Berry said.

Election vote count called off for night

Wayne County election officials called off Tuesday’s vote count at 3 a.m. Wednesday. They will return when the courthouse opens at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to continue counting. All of the results will be released at once. Continue to follow the Western Wayne News online for updates and results.

Attorney describes process of requesting printouts at vote centers

Richmond attorney Amy Noe Dudas spoke during WCTV’s election results show about her role in helping Wayne County Democratic Party on Tuesday as its legal counsel and why a change in the tabulation process means local election results are being released later than usual on Election Night. Dudas said the party discovered a discrepancy last week between the training the local poll workers receive and the state statute regarding Election Night printouts of vote counts. She said she thought that party officials had relayed their concern to the county clerk a few days ago that they were going to look for printouts to be made at each vote center on Election Night. They followed up on their request to make sure it would be carried out. Wayne County Clerk Debra Berry said Tuesday that the process since vote centers were introduced in Wayne County has been that when the vote centers close for Election Day, the inspector and judge have brought the equipment to the Voter Registration Office in the courthouse.

Updated: Wayne County election results coming later because of tabulation process change

Wayne County election results are expected to be delayed tonight because of a change in the tabulation process. Wayne County Clerk Debra Berry said the process since vote centers were introduced in Wayne County has been that when the vote centers close for Election Day, the inspector and judge have brought the equipment to the Voter Registration Office in the courthouse. Once there, they would run the tapes — in other words, print the results — while simultaneously electronically tabulating the results for posting to the county website for the public and the media. However, Wayne County Democratic Party chairman Beth Harrick made a request last week that the tapes be run at each vote center, citing Indiana code 3-11-14-30, according to attorney Amy Noe Dudas, speaking during Whitewater Government Television’s Election Night coverage. The code says, “Subject to IC 3-12-2-5, as soon as the polls are closed, the inspector, in the presence of the judges and poll clerks, immediately shall secure each electronic voting system against voting and obtain at least one (1) paper printout of the total votes cast for each candidate and on each public question in that precinct.”

Once the Democratic Party followed up on its request in the afternoon on Election Day, the Wayne County Voter Registration Office contacted the state election board attorney for clarification, Dudas said.

UPDATED: Polling site will NOT be open an extra 30 minutes after early morning glitch

Wayne County Election Board has voted to extend one Wayne County vote center for 30 minutes on Tuesday night, but that did not get approved by a judge. Election officials had a problem getting voting machines to work when the vote center opened at 6 a.m. at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 1108 N. H St. in Richmond. It was eventually determined a bent prong in a cord kept the machines from working for approximately 26 minutes.

A look at early voter turnout, election concern in Wayne County

More than 17,000 Wayne County voters used absentee voting and in-person absentee voting (early voting) to cast ballots by Friday in anticipation of Tuesday’s Election Day. Those totals exceed the number of absentee/early voting ballots cast prior to Election Day in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. In-person absentee voting, also known as early voting, concluded at noon Monday at the courthouse and on Saturday at the Kuhlman Center. Eight vote centers were scheduled to be open on Election Day. “I assume there will be long lines on Election Day,” Wayne County Clerk Debra Berry said last week.