The Marshall County Election Board met Friday, November 18th, and certified the General Midterm Elections 2022. Serving as a proxy for Ralph Huff was George Schricker, also present was Marshall County Circuit Court Clerk, Secretary of Election Board Deborah VanDeMark, and Vice President Adam Lukenbill.

There were 8,832 votes on Election Day, 917 Paper Absentee, and 3,184 Walk-In Absentee votes for a total public count of 12,933 votes – a 43.48% voter turnout of 29,743 total registered voters in Marshall County.

The board reviewed three provisional ballots and approved the rejection of all three for the following reasons – the voter did not present a valid ID on time, the voter registered to vote too late, and the voter signed with a smiley face that did not match their signature on record. All three rejections were based on standards not met by the voter which are required by law.

One absentee ballot was returned to the Marshall County Clerk’s Office marked as undeliverable. Five ballots arrived past the deadline on Election Day. Those ballots could not be counted toward the election but had to be recorded as part of the official meeting minutes.

VanDeMark said, “We are grateful for all our poll workers and all the election workers that helped us get this done.” She also expressed gratitude to the board, present and absent, and the proxy.

The public hearing regarding the campaign finance report concerns raised by Nicole Haskins regarding Stan Klotz will be held on December 6 at 8:30 a.m.

A member of the public present at the meeting Sharon Leathers inquired about the pending public hearing. She asked if it was the Clerk’s responsibility to review campaign finance reports for discrepancies, notify the candidate within 24 hours, and provide that individual with five days to respond with corrections.

VanDeMark answered, “No, that is not true. We do not have auditors for our campaign finance. We do look them over to make sure they are completed. We do not check them for accuracy. It’s up to the candidate to be accurate on their forms.”

Leathers asked, “So why was someone from the outside come in?”

VanDeMark said, “I don’t have an answer for you on that. They are public record. Anyone is allowed to do that.”

Leathers asked, “But this is the second time she’s done that to this one person.”

VanDeMark answered, “There’s no violation for what she’s done. She comes in and she purchases the copies. We have other people that do that all the time. Then she reviewed them on her own time.”

VanDeMark added that at the State level there is a team of staff auditors, but that is not available at the county level. “We do verify that they are signed, that they are on time, looking them over that they are completed, but we do not check them for accuracies.”

Leathers asked if that was typical for every county. VanDeMark responded yes. “Most counties handle it the same way. If there is a complaint filed with the Election Board then it’s addressed.”

Once a complaint is filed, the Election Board reviews the complaint to see if it is a legitimate complaint and issues a fine if applicable.

Vice President Lukenbill will appoint a proxy for his position at the public hearing on December 6th as he has to abstain due to a conflict of interest.

Shown in photo from left to right: George Schricker, proxy for Ralph Huff, Marshall County Circuit Court Clerk, Secretary of Election Board Deborah VanDeMark and Vice President Adam Lukenbill.

Photo and article by our news partners at the Pilot News. Written by Jamie Fleury Staff Writer