Cass County Democratic Party challenges independent’s mayoral candidacy

UPDATE: THe Cass County Election Board voted July 30 to uphold the challenge.

ORIGINAL POST: The Cass County Democrats announce that a challenge has been filed to independent mayoral candidate Terry Doran’s place on the November 5, 2019, ballot.

According to Indiana code, in order for an independent candidate to be placed on a ballot, the candidate must collect a number of qualified voter petition signatures equal to two percent of the total votes cast in the district for the most recent Secretary of State election. A qualified voter is someone who is registered to vote in the district within which the candidate is running. Below is the code:

IC 3-8-6-3             Required number of signatures

Sec. 3. (a) A petition of nomination must be signed by the number of voters equal to two percent (2%) of the total vote cast at the last election for secretary of state in the election district that the candidate seeks to represent.
 (b) In determining the number of signatures required under this section, any fraction in excess of a whole number must be disregarded.

Using the certified 2018 precinct-level results obtained from the Indiana Election Division, below are the 2018 Secretary of State results for the precincts that make up the City of Logansport:

PrecinctConnie Lawson (R)Jim Harper (D)Mark W Rutherford (L)Write-In
Clay City302520
Logansport 011168580
Logansport 0210863110
Logansport 03493230
Logansport 04170110120
Logansport 051169370
Logansport 0617078130
Logansport 07403530
Logansport 08678482
Logansport 09988990
Logansport 1014311350
Logansport 11289163130
Logansport 12178132190
Logansport 135865120
Logansport 1421714680
Logansport 15226174120
Logansport 16333870
Noble City432030
Washington City0000

The total number of votes cast in the 2018 election for Secretary of State in the City of Logansport was 3,853 and two percent of this number is 77.06. According to Doran’s petition forms obtained from the Cass County Clerk, he did not meet the legal threshold of signatures needed to be placed on the November 2019 general ballot. According to the Indiana Election Division, the deadline for an independent or minor party candidate to file a petition of nomination with a county voter registration office was 12 p.m. July 1, 2019.

This challenge goes before the Cass County Election Board for review and a vote to either accept or decline the validity of the challenge. The board is comprised of Democrat James Austen, Cass County Clerk Beth Liming, and Republican Andrew Stephenson.

SOURCE: News release from Cass County Democratic Party

EDITOR’S NOTE: Doran says he was told by local officials that he needed 44 signatures. The petitions provided by the Cass County Democratic Party, dated June 28, 2019, show that Doran submitted 59 signatures. The Cass County Election Board is scheduled to meet to discuss the candidate filing challenge at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 30 in the Bicentennial Room, located on the 1st floor of the Cass County Government Building. The Republican candidate for mayor is Chris Martin; the Democrat candidate is Dave Kitchell.