Local election board absolves Democrats

November 19, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Democrats kept their pot luck and politics out of the Millennium Park polling place until after it closed, and did nothing wrong, the Boyle County Board of Elections said Thursday.

The three-member board decided there was no wrongdoing and no further action would be taken.

Boyle Republican Party Chairman Tom McClain filed a complaint about the potluck dinner that was held on election day for U.S. 6th District Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles.

McClain wrote that even though the event was scheduled for 30 minutes after polls closed voters could still be in line to vote, and so the polls might not be able to close until 6:30 or 7 p.m. McClain felt the dinner amounted to electioneering near a polling place, which is illegal.

That day, County Clerk Denise Curtsinger and a representative from the state Attorney General's Office went to the center and made sure that no one headed to the pot luck dinner came close to voters. Curtsinger said if they had food she sent them around the back of the building.


At the time, McClain said that he had received no response from Curtsinger about the complaint.

She said Thursday that she didn't get the letter until late Monday, before the election, and that if it had been sent earlier she would have been able to respond sooner. The complaint had been turned over to the state Board of Elections.

The Democratic Party representative on the local board, Jack Carey, said he also was at the center with Judge-Executive Tony Wilder to make sure that no one disturbed voters.

In the 20 minutes before the polls closed, three people came to vote.

Curtsinger said she was afraid there would be a line, but, luckily, there was not.

The Republican member of the local BOE, Alberta Wood, said that she didn't think that there was any wrongdoing, but that the Democrats could have picked another place.

Curtsinger, who is a Democrat, said she went to the local party and asked them why they had chosen a polling place. She said, in her opinion, someone should have called the state party and told them the life center was a polling place and that they should have found a different location. "When it comes to elections, party means nothing to me," she said.

Another complaint dismissed

Thursday, the local BOE also dismissed another complaint filed on election day. It involved a precinct officer reading, verbatim, the marriage amendment to a voter who said she couldn't read it. Another voter believed the precinct officer was explaining the amendment.

The law allows precinct officers to read the ballot to voters, but nothing else. All of the parties involved were interviewed by members of the local BOE, and the Democrats and Republicans agreed that there was no wrongdoing.

Curtsinger refused to give the location of the report, precinct officer names or the complainant's name, or to hand over the public record which contains them.

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