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.