The Monroe Convention Center expansion project needs to make some progress, state representative Democrat Rep. Matt Pierce (District 61) said at a Friday luncheon hosted by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce at The Mill.
Looming during this year’s legislative session is a threat to the project’s planned funding source, which is the county’s 1-percent food and beverage tax. The threat cited by Pierce is Senate Bill 37, which has already been filed by Republican Sen. Mike Gaskill (District 25).
If SB 37 is passed, it would end food and beverage taxes across all counties in the state 20 years from now, on Jan. 1, 2043, or the date on which all bonds or lease agreements that are outstanding on May 7, 2023, are completely paid—whichever is later.
Pierce summed up the stalled effort of Bloomington and Monroe County government to collaborate on the convention center expansion like this: “We gotta get moving on that.”
Pierce was joined at the event by three other area state legislators: Sen. Eric Koch (District 44); Sen. Shelli Yoder (District 40); and Rep. Dave Hall (District 62).
Pierce’s comment on the convention center expansion came in response to a question from chamber CEO and president Eric Spoonmore.
From left: Judge Erik Allen, and recount commissioners Bob White, WIlliam Ellis, and Fred Turner.
Recount commissioner Fred Turner.
From left: Dave Hall, Cory Ray, Fred Turner, Bob White, William Ellis.
From left: Recount commissioners Bob White and William Ellis.
Recount commissioner William Ellis.
Republican Jake Dodds has been confirmed as winning one of the three seats on the Benton Township board in Monroe County, Indiana.
The result of a manual recount of the ballots, which concluded Thursday morning around 11 a.m., provided a 3-vote margin for Dodds over fourth-place finisher, Democrat Hans Kelson.
Before the provisional ballots were adjudicated on Nov. 18—that’s 10 days after the Nov. 8 Election Day—Dodds was up by 6 votes over Kelson. Dodds had 621 votes compared to 615 for Kelson.
The adjudication of the provisional ballots added 2 more votes to Kelson’s total. That reduced the margin to 4 votes—621 to 617. That’s when Monroe County Democratic Party chair David Henry filed a petition requesting a manual recount.
After the manual recount, Dodds had one fewer vote and Kelson had the same number, leaving a 3-vote gap.
That means the Benton Township board that’s sworn into office on Jan. 1, 2023 will consist of Dodds, and Democrats Sean McInerney and Joseph Husk. The Benton Township trustee’s election was won by Democrat Michelle Bright over Republican Josh Dodds.
Judge Erik Allen out of Greene County oversaw the recount work. On Thursday, after the recount commissioners had completed their work at Monroe County’s Election Central, Allen told them: “I observed the process from beginning to end, and I have full confidence in the job that was completed.”
Room 404 at the Indiana state house, where the recount commission met on Dec. 20, 2022.
From left: Left to right: Bradley King, co-counsel for the recount commission; Republican Party appointee Mark Wynn; secretary of state Holli Sullivan; Democratic Party appointee Michael Claytor; and Mathew Kochevar, co-counsel for the recount commission.
Recount commission co-counsel Matthew Kochevar.
Democratic Party appointee to the recount commission Michael Claytor holds aloft a ballot for review.
Monroe County Democratic Party chair David Henry.
Samantha Dewester, legal counsel for Dave Hall
Secretary of state Holli Sullivan.
Monroe County Democratic Party chair David Henry (standing) with Penny Githens.
Indiana state police first sergeant Brad Stille shows there’s nothing left in the ballot envelope that he just sliced open.
Indiana state police first sergeant Brad Stille hands over the ballot envelopes to general counsel for the state board of accounts, Kendra Leatherman.
Around 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Indiana’s recount commission confirmed Republican Dave Hall as the winner of the election for District 62 state house over Democrat Penny Githens.
Monroe County Democratic Party chair David Henry points to candidate Penny Githens’s computer screen as they review challenged ballots from Jackson and Brown counties.
Deputy recount director Andrew Norris. (Election Central Monroe County Dec. 13, 2022)
(Election Central Monroe County Dec. 13, 2022)
The slogan on the mug reads: “I am an auditor. To save time let’s just assume I’m always right.” (Election Central Monroe County Dec. 13, 2022)
Arriving around 3 p.m. on Tuesday at Monroe County’s Election Central, was the team from Indiana’s state board of accounts (SBOA) that is conducting the manual recounting of ballots in Indiana’s District 62 state house race.
The recounting of Monroe County’s ballots got a good start on Tuesday, but will last at least another day.
Recounting activity on Tuesday lasted until around 6 p.m. The work of reviewing each paper ballot with human hands and eyeballs will continue on Wednesday morning in Monroe County starting around 8 a.m.
Seated is Monroe County deputy clerk Tressia Martin. Others shown in this photgraph are state board of accounts (SBOA) staff. Monroe County Election Central (Dec. 9, 2022)
At 8 a.m. on Friday, a dozen staff from Indiana’s state board of accounts (SBOA) and some state police officers arrived at Monroe County’s Election Central at 7th and Madison streets in downtown Bloomington.
The SBOA staff’s job for the day was to sort the ballots from the Nov. 8 election into piles—one pile for each of the 29 Monroe County precincts that is a part of state house District 62.
The sorting comes in preparation for the recounting of ballots in the race, which was won by Republican Dave Hall, who had a certified tally of 12,990 votes. That was 40 more than Democrat Penny Githens received. The request for the recount was filed by Monroe County Party chair David Henry.
In Monroe County, the recounting itself is now expected to start around noon on Wednesday (Dec. 14) next week. That will come whenever the recounting is complete in Jackson and Brown counties—which are the other two counties with some precincts included in District 62.
From left: Matthew Kochevar, David Henry, Bradley King, Phil Sicuso. (Dec. 7, 2023)
Monroe County election supervisor Karen Wheeler. (Dec. 7, 2023)
Monroe County Election Central meeting for pre-recount review. (Dec. 7, 2023)
From left: Karen Wheeler, David Henry, Matthew Kochevar, Cory Ray, Phil Sicuso. (Dec. 7, 2023)
From left: Cory Ray and Phil Sicuso. (Dec. 7, 2023)
On Wednesday, a group of state officials and interested parties to Indiana’s state house District 62 recount process made the rounds to the three affected counties, to complete the pre-recount procedures.
The race in District 62, which includes areas in Monroe, Brown and Jackson counties, was won by Republican Dave Hall, who had a certified tally of 12,990 votes. That was 40 more than Democrat Penny Githens received.
Election Day was Nov. 8.
On Wednesday, recount director Philip Sicuso indicated that some additional sorting and preparation would take place through the rest of this week. The recounting activity itself is to start next week (Dec. 12).
By around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, two state police sergeants had appeared at Monroe County’s Election Central at Madison and 7th streets—to secure the ballots and voting equipment that were used for the Nov. 8 general election.
The Monroe County Democratic Party will petition the Indiana state election division for a recount of votes in the state house representative District 62 race, which was won by Republican Dave Hall over Democrat Penny Githens.
The news release cites the 40-vote margin as the reason for the recount request.
MCDP chair David Henry is quoted in the release saying, “In such extremely close races, a recount is simply about exercising our candidate’s rights under the law, and crossing every t, and dotting every i.”