Monroe County Clerk Won’t Follow New Ballot Law

The Monroe County Clerk appears ready to buck several legal opinions regarding how November’s general election ballots should look.

Monroe County Courthouse

Photo: WFIU News

Monroe County Clerk Linda Robbins says she views a new election law as a suggestion, rather than a must.

In an e-mail sent Thursday to media and all candidates in the county’s elections this fall, Monroe County Clerk Linda Robbins says she views a new state law removing uncontested races from ballots as a suggestion, rather than a mandate.

With House Bill 1242 in effect, the towns of Stinesville and Ellettsville would not have any elections at all, as neither has any contested races. In Bloomington, only a few seats are up for grabs, with the Mayor Mark Kruzan and several Democratic city council members assured another term.

Previously, Secretary of State spokesman AJ Feeney-Ruiz told WFIU his office views the law as legally binding, even though the language adopted by the Indiana General Assembly during its most recent term does not appear to lay out any penalty for violating the law.

The law states, “An election may not be held for a municipal office if there is only one nominee for the office or only one person has filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for the office.” Because the law says “may” not instead of “must” not, a legal challenge could decide the matter.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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