Hall nets +3: Provisional ballot review for District 62 House gives Hall 15 more, Githens 12 more

Republican candidate Dave Hall now has 40 more votes than Democrat Penny Githens in the race for the Indiana state house District 62 seat.

Before Friday’s review of provisional ballots—in each of the three counties that are partly included in District 62—the margin between the two candidates stood at 37.

Here’s the breakdown for Hall’s net gain of 3 votes by the end of the day on Friday.

In Monroe County, Githens picked up 3 more Election Day votes to Hall’s 1. She also picked up 9 more absentee votes to Hall’s 3. For Monroe County, that netted Githens 8 more votes. That’s based on The B Square’s own in-person attendance at the Monroe County election board’s review of provisional ballots, which started at 12:01 p.m. on Friday at Election Central at 7th and Madison streets.

Based on sources with Dave Hall’s campaign, the one accepted provisional ballot in Jackson County and all 10 accepted provisional ballots in Brown County contained votes for Hall. So in Brown and Jackson counties Hall netted 11 more votes.

That works out to a net gain for Hall of 3 votes.

Provisional ballot review is done by the election board in each county. Monroe County’s three-member election board consists of: the elected county clerk, Nicole Browne (D); the Democratic Party’s appointee, Shruti Rana (D); and the Republican Party’s appointee, Donovan Garletts (R).

According to this year’s election administrator’s manual, no later than this coming Monday (Nov. 21) at noon, “the circuit court clerk must prepare a statement identifying all votes cast at the election.”

The deadline to finalize the official election form, called the CEB-9, is at noon, 14 days after the election—which is Tuesday (Nov. 22).

The deadline for a candidate to file a recount petition is 14 days after the election, which is Tuesday (Nov. 22) at noon. But a state or a county party chair has three additional days (17 days after the election) to petition for a recount.

As of Saturday morning there’s not yet any word from Githens about a decision to petition for a recount.

In Monroe County, on Friday the three-member election board slogged through a total of 195 provisional ballots. Of those, just 42 were accepted.

About half of the accepted ballots, 24 of them, were mailed-in absentee ballots where the voter’s signature on the ballot did not appear to match the signature on file. For many such ballots, it was due to married couples inadvertently signing each other’s ballots. The election board based its decision in those cases on the affidavit that the voters had subsequently signed to “cure” the mis-matched signature problem.

Provisional ballots that were cast on Election Day and judged by the election board to be acceptable fell into a range of different categories.

In some cases, the voter was registered at a different address but in the same precinct where they currently live—a situation where the voter should have been given a regular ballot. In one case, the voter had been mistakenly identified as deceased. In a couple of cases, the voter had requested and been sent an absentee ballot, but it had not arrived in the mail, and the election staff had verified that the absentee ballot had not been voted.

Based on the B Square’s tally, 16 of the 42 accepted provisional ballots were in House District 62.

After the accepted ballots were extracted from their envelopes and run through the optical scanner, in the reports laid out on the table for the public to view, the additional votes for Githens and Hall totaled 16 in the reports run by election staff.

After the provisional ballot review was done, but before the scanning was started, election board member Donovan Garletts pointed out there was still a chance that a ballot might be rejected—if it lacked the required initials from the poll clerks. [IC 3-11.7-5.5]

As it turned out, one of the 42 accepted ballots lacked the required initials, and was rejected. The new total number of voters on Monroe County’s report on Friday was 40,530 compared to 40,489 for the unofficial report last week, for a difference of 41.


Photos: Monroe County, Indiana Provisional Ballot Review (Nov. 18, 2022)

One thought on “Hall nets +3: Provisional ballot review for District 62 House gives Hall 15 more, Githens 12 more

  1. “ As it turned out, one of the 42 accepted ballots lacked the required initials, and was rejected. ”

    The initials have to be in red ink, too, or the ballot doesn’t count. Occasionally at my polling station the judge would come to the clerks for a ballot to replace a spoiled ballot and we clerks would have to remind him that we needed to initial them. He didn’t seem to think the scanner cared, but it sounds like the scanner caught the missing initials on the provisional ballot?

    The same judge caught a ballot where one set of initials was in black ink. I don’t know if he caught it via visual inspection or the scanner caught it.

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