GOP party chair questions handling of mail-in ballots

La Porte County Republican Party Chairman Mitch Feikes has issued the following statement regarding mail-in ballots:

Mail-in ballots were grossly mishandled in the last Indiana primary election in La Porte County. Hundreds of voters were disenfranchised in the recent primary election. Hundreds of people who requested absentee ballots never received their ballots. Voters were given the impression that mail-in ballots were the only way to vote. Information on mail-in ballots was sent to many voters late. In the primary 285 ballots were received late and not counted, 843 ballots that went out by mail were not counted for various reasons and 26 ballots were delivered by the travel board and never picked up. With these results, it is mind boggling that any election official would advocate mail-in voting before cleaning up this system in La Porte County.

Covid-19 is an issue I take seriously. I constantly wear a mask and am alarmed by the increase in Covid-19 cases across the country and in Indiana. However, during the recent primary the Republican Party worked hard to find poll workers who were not in the high-risk category for Covid-19. Poll workers felt safe and the State provided personal protective equipment including facemasks, disinfectants and hand sanitizer. There is no evidence that the Covid-19 infection rate increased because of the election in La Porte County or the State of Indiana.

The Democrat officials in charge of the election mishandled the mail-in ballot campaign. County Commissioners interfered with the election by sending out a postcard to voters urging them to vote by mail due to the Covid-19 emergency. While, well-intentioned, this action ended up grossly interfering in the election. These postcards were sent late with some voters receiving them after the deadline to request a ballot by mail had passed. The postcard did not meet Indiana election law standards and caused confusion with voters. Some voters even believed that the mail was the only way to vote in this election, encouraging them not to show up on the actual Election Day.

The absentee office was undermanned and run ineffectively. Indiana election law requires that a request for a mail-in ballot be sent within 48 hours. However, with insufficient personnel these requests were fulfilled long after the 48-hour deadline came and went—some waited weeks for their request to be fulfilled. What is worse were the hundreds of people who called to request an absentee ballot never had their calls answered. This lack of communication, once again, deprived many members of our community of the right to vote. Furthermore, there were also reports of multiple ballots being placed in envelopes giving voters two and sometimes three ballots. Wrong ballots were given to voters. The Republican Party on numerous occasions volunteered to help. However, we were ignored or asked to help at the last minute.

Our right to vote is one of our greatest right as a free American. Voters in La Porte County have lost confidence in the election process. Our goal should be no voter disenfranchised. Unfortunelatly, hundreds of voters in La Porte County were deprived of the right to vote in the last primary.

I have proposed VOTE CENTERS as a solution to this problem. It would greatly enhance our voting system and allow more people to easily vote without the cumbersome process of the failed La Porte County system of mail-in ballots.

According to the Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson: “Simply put, a vote center is a polling place where any eligible voter in the county may go to vote. The vote center model gives voters more flexibility on Election Day because they are not constrained to a specific polling location. Vote centers are connected through secure internet connections, and as ballots are cast, an electronic poll book is instantaneously updated. Vote centers would allow longer time for individuals to vote.”

Voters would be allowed to go to any polling location for several days before the election and be allowed to vote. An individual could vote during their lunch hour, early in the morning or after work or on a Saturday. In short, voting would be simpler and easier. Moreover, vote centers could be cleaned thoroughly, and stricter measures could be implemented to protect voters from Covid-19.

It would require electronic poll books which will reduce voter fraud and eliminate individuals voting twice, which has happened several times in recent elections. Over the long term, vote centers have shown to reduce the costs of running an election.

With the disaster we saw in the recent primary, it is clear that we need to greatly improve our management of elections and strive to implement vote centers. While Covid-19 demands a new way for our community to vote, absentee voting, which should not be eliminated, cannot be overly relied on for our general election this fall, especially in La Porte County.

Stay Healthy

Mitch Feikes
Chairman, La Porte County Republican Party

10 Responses to “GOP party chair questions handling of mail-in ballots”

  1. Grandma G

    Jul 17. 2020

    I am a Republican and fully intend to vote by mail and so will my husband. In my heart and mind this is the only safe way to vote because of the virus. I wish all well and good health.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Another Grandma

    Jul 17. 2020

    The virus is not the reason I vote by mail. Not everyone is young or strong enough to navigate the climb from the parking area up to Cummins Lodge.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Gail A Cains

    Jul 17. 2020

    Please note that all the things said to be wrong in the election did not include the names or any further information.
    The election was not mishandled nor was any voter left out of his or her right to vote. If a vote didn’t count it was because the voter sent it in late or without every document filled out correctly. As my father told me long ago cheaters never win and the person who made all the false claims is trying to win in the ugliest way!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Well Informed

      Jul 18. 2020

      If you would like the names of the 285 voters whose mail in ballots were received late and not counted or the names of the 843 voters whose mail in ballots were not counted for one reason or another or the names of the 26 travel board voters whose ballots were not picked up please call Democrat Voter Registration co-chair Gail A Cains. AGAIN IF YOU WANT THE NAMES OF THE VOTERS WHOSE BALLOTS WERE NOT COUNTED PLEASE CALL GAIL A CAINS AT THE VOTERS REGISTRATION OFFICE. SHE CAN PROVIDE EACH OF THE NAMES OF PEOPLE WHOSE BALLOTS DID NOT COUNT. ITS PUBLIC INFORMATION.
      Democrats want to whine and cry that Republicans are trying to disenfranchise voters yet it was the Democrat County Clerk Kathy Chrobak and her trusty sidekick Gail A Cains that disenfranchised 1154 absentee by mail voters. Please call Gail A Cains at Voters Registration to see if your mail in ballot really counted.

      Reply to this comment
      • Tired of the Lies

        Jul 19. 2020

        The whining party is a republican read the article. He’s just trying to drum up support for voter suppression brought to you by local GOP. Cant even trust the locals anymore, they’ve been been over run by the Maga Morons, and are complicit in the fascist direction this country is heading.

        Reply to this comment
  4. Roxy Taylor-Pavey

    Jul 17. 2020

    I certainly would like to see the documented proof of these claims.

    I find it odd we’ve been able to vote by mail for decades and just this year, a year of great importance in the future of America, voting by mail has become an issue for the GOP.

    I voted by mail for the first time this year. My mail-in ballot was received within two days of my request. Never once was I under the impression it was the only way I could vote.

    If there were actually problems with mail-in ballots being received in time for the election, then I would hope both political parties work together to make sure these “bugs” are worked out for the November election.

    DON’T try to take away my right to vote by mail, that smacks of voter suppression.

    Reply to this comment
    • Not Heather Stevens

      Jul 18. 2020

      Kathy Chroback shouldn’t be trusted to count sheep.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Taxpayer

    Jul 18. 2020

    Thank you Mitch for stating all the issues of the past Primary and giving recommendations on how to stop the flawed process from being repeated. A fair and accurate election should be the goal of everyone not just the Republicans.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Gail A Cains

    Jul 18. 2020

    Well informed I know it is you Heather Stevens!
    I put my name on my comments because I have nothing to hide!
    And I welcome questions about Voter Registration but I do not work for Kathy Chroback or the election as you well know.
    Thanks to all the voters, poll workers, absentee workers and Kathy Chroback for running the 2020 election following the legal rules of the state of Indiana.

    Reply to this comment
    • Well informed

      Jul 18. 2020

      Gail A Cains you forgot to give thanks in your post for the 1154 absentee by mail ballots that weren’t counted due to “Kathy Chrobak running the 2020 election following the legal rules of the State of Indiana.
      Each and every voter that was disenfranchised due to the ineptness of Democrat County Clerk Kathy Chrobak should be contacted and notified that their vote wasn’t counted this time around.
      There is an Election Board meeting next Tuesday. Anyone reading this should go and ask for an investigation as to why 1154 absentee by mail votes weren’t counted.

      Reply to this comment

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