Indianapolis – Today, City-County Council President Monroe Gray received the final report from the Investigative Elections Committee he had reconvened at the beginning of the summer. President Gray had charged the committee with discovering the reasons behind the problems in the Spring Primary election and with compiling recommendations to improve the elections process in Marion County.
City-County Councillor Jackie Nytes (District 9) chaired the committee this time, holding meetings throughout the County in order to hear from more voters. Committee members included Lonnell Conley, Ron Gibson, Robert Lutz, Cherrish Pryor, Susie Day, and Ryan Vaughn. In a very bipartisan effort to ensure that the November election will run smoothly, the committee heard from voters, election day workers from the two major political parties, and a variety of non-partisan groups, such as the League of Women Voters and Common Cause.
Councillor Nytes also requested testimony from Clerk White and the members of the Marion County Election Board, all of whom participated in the effort. The County Chairman from each of the parties pledged their commitment to work together better in the fall. Among the committee’s recommendations are a strong call for redrawing the precincts in Marion County, reducing them to no more than 600 in time for the 2008 primary. The committee was assured by the county party chairs that they shared this goal and were working to meet this timeline.
Earlier assignments, increased use of technology to track workers, and additional training were also among the recommendations. Some recommended items were directed to the State Legislature, including a call to extend voting hours to 7:00 p.m. to accommodate more voters, to institute no fault absentee voting and to extend the time period for experimenting with vote centers to give Marion County a chance to evaluate this concept. The Marion County Election Board was encouraged to utilize additional satellite voting centers for the 2008 elections.
In the next forty-eight hours, copies of the full report will be available at http://www.indygov.org/council or in the Council Office.