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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
These are the polls open from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. today in Wayne County, Indiana. You must be standing in line at 6 p.m. at a polling place to be allowed to vote after the polls close. Please visit our Western Wayne News Facebook page and be our “boots on the ground” throughout today to let other voters know where you are and about how much of a wait/line there is. Golay Center
1007 E Main St. Cambridge City
With Wayne County’s COVID-19 numbers still rising, area residents are encouraged to handle Halloween with a great deal of care and a lot of handwashing or sanitizing. The Wayne County Commissioners on Wednesday announced that those involved in the county’s COVID-19 task force had discussed cancelling trick or treat throughout the county as a measure to slow the spread of the virus. However, those involved agreed to allow trick or treat to go on as planned. Commissioners President Ken Paust offered suggestions for how area residents can treat children to Halloween fun will social distancing. Residents are encouraged to set up a table with treats at the end of their driveway or at least six feet from their door and replenish it when youngsters have moved on.
As of Wednesday, about 15,000 registered voters in Wayne County had cast an absentee or in-person absentee ballot. In-person absentee voting, also known as early voting, continues at four vote centers plus the courthouse on Thursday and Friday, and at the Kuhlman Center and courthouse on Saturday. Ballots also may be cast 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday at the courthouse. Eight vote centers will be open Tuesday for Election Day. “I assume there will be long lines on Election Day,” Wayne County Clerk Debra Berry said.
Because of multiple COVID-19 positive students, specifically from the same classrooms, Northeastern Middle School and High School will operate virtually from Oct. 29 through Nov. 11, returning on Nov. 12. Northeastern families who are directly impacted by the ill students have been contacted by Wayne County Health Department.