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 pace of early in-person voting in Monroe County has increased by a lot in the final week before the Tuesday Nov. 8 election.
The increased early-voting numbers were evident on Monday. For much of the morning, a line of voters wrapped around the north end of the election operations building.
At around 11:45, which was 15 minutes before the polls closed, The B Square counted around 40 people standing in line outside. Sunny skies and a temperature in the low 60s meant the wait was not as unpleasant as it might have been.
B Square file photo of 2022 early voting at 3rd and Walnut streets (Oct. 29, 2022)
At Thursday afternoon’s meeting of the Monroe County election board, county clerk Nicole Browne reported to her colleagues that she was “a little disheartened” about the early voting turnout so far for the Nov. 8 election.
Election supervisor Karen Wheeler confirmed that the early voting numbers this year are still lagging well behind the numbers for the last midterm year in 2018.
In 2018, about 24,500 people voted early—the combined total for absentee mailed-in ballots and in-person votes. That’s based on the early vote totals in the race for US Senate.
On Wednesday (June 1) a little before noon, Democrat Susan Sandberg filed paperwork with Monroe County to form an exploratory committee to run for mayor of the city of Bloomington in 2023.
That means her campaign can accept financial contributions, but does not require that she eventually declare her candidacy for mayor. Candidates for city council, mayor, and clerk can’t file a formal declaration until early January 2023.
Sandberg currently serves as president of the city council, a post to which she was elected at the start of the year. The vote for council president was split 5–4 in favor of Sandberg over Matt Flaherty.
Sandberg also served as council president in 2008, 2011 and 2017. She has also served a couple years as council vice president and one year as parliamentarian.
Like the mayor and the city clerk, the nine city councilmembers serve four-year terms. All nine members of the council, the mayor, and the clerk, are elected every four years. That means if Sandberg declares her candidacy for mayor in 2023, there will be at least one open seat on the city council with no incumbent running.