At its Friday meeting, the three-member Monroe County election board voted to accept as valid 19 out of the 32 provisional ballots from the Tuesday, May 3 primary elections.
Provisional ballots are those that are cast by a voter, but set aside due to some question about whether they are valid. Provisional ballots allow a voter to make their choices for candidates, without requiring Election Day poll workers, in circumstances that might be hectic, to make a final decision on validity
The past practice used by Monroe County to make a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for employees could lead to a historic fiscal impact on the 2023 budget.
That’s because the county’s fiscal body—the seven-member county council—has typically tried to key its COLA to the percentage increase in the consumer price index (CPI) between the previous December and the December before that.
For county offices, Democrats saw four contested races on the ballot. The race for the nomination for circuit court judge was a four-way contest, won by Emily Salzmann. The race for the nomination for sheriff was a five-way contest, won by Ruben Marté.
The B Square took a closer precinct-by-precinct look at the other two races, which were two-way affairs. The race for recorder was close, almost a dead heat. The county commissioner’s race was not as close—about a 3:2 margin for the winner.
Stacks of books in the Monroe County recorder’s office.
US Imaging scanning crew operates a document fed scanner.
Monroe County recorder Eric Schmitz addresses county commissioners (May 4, 2022).
US Imaging scanning crew operates a flatbed scanner.
A crew from US Imaging has set up a digital scanning operation in the Monroe County recorder’s office.
Their three-week mission, onsite at the county courthouse, is to scan the county’s whole collection of older deeds, back to 1817, as well as miscellaneous records. The images will then be digitized, which will make them searchable and more easily available.
On Wednesday night, Bloomington’s mayor John Hamilton did not get the full 0.855-point local income tax (LIT) increase he had asked Bloomington’s city council to approve.
But the council did approve a 0.69-point increase, which will generate around $14.5 million annually in new revenue for the city of Bloomington. The additional 0.69 points brings the countywide income tax rate to 2.035 percent.
The new rate will take effect on Oct. 1.
Based on the category of income tax used for the increase (economic development) and the method used for distribution (population-based), the additional 0.69 points will also mean additional annual revenue of around $10 million for Monroe County, around $1 million for Ellettsville, and around $40,000 for Stinesville.
Those are the only four units of government that receive a distribution under the economic development category of local income tax.
The B Square is on site at Election Central at the corner of 7th and Madison streets in downtown Bloomington where the 28 duffel bags from each of today’s polling locations will be deposited by a bipartisan team of poll workers.
The polls closed at 6 p.m.
Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne has said no results are anticipated until at least 8 p.m.
The B Square will provide status reports here until the final results are announced.
6:26 p.m. Election Central: No precincts have yet arrived with their materials to report in. Monroe County. Election board members are here as well as election supervisor Karen Wheeler.
The election board has three members: the county clerk (Nicole Browne) and one appointee by each of the two major party chairs. The two appointed members are Democrat Shruti Rana; and Republican Donovan Garletts.
At 6 a.m. sharp on Tuesday, a Monroe County election worker opened the door from inside the blue building at the corner of 3rd and Walnut streets: “The polls are now open! Come on in!” [raw audio of polls opening announcement]
No voters were standing in line at the time.
It’s the former NAPA building, which now serves as Monroe County’s voting operations facility.
Although during early voting, voters countywide could cast a ballot at the voting operations building, only voters from seven different precincts can vote there on Election Day: Bloomington 03, Bloomington 07, Bloomington 22, and Perry 06, Perry 08, Perry 15, and Perry 31.
Voters who are trying to sort out where to vote can start at the secretary of state’s voter portal. On that web page, the link for “Voting Location” is in the row of blue boxes.
If Bloomington Transit wanted to run buses outside of Bloomington’s city limits, what, if any, legal requirements would have to be met?
Specifically, what legal requirements would have to be met, in order for Bloomington Transit to serve educational and employment centers like Ivy Tech or Cook Medical—which are outside the city limits on the western edge of town?
In the last few years, the standard answer has been: An amendment to a local law would have to be enacted by the city council.
But a closer look at the local law, and a state statute, suggests that a change to the local law might not be needed.
Instead, the city council would just have to approve any proposed bus service outside the city’s boundaries.
A request from BT to run buses to specific locations outside city limits could presumably be placed on the city council’s agenda by BT—just like approval of its annual budget and tax rate is placed on the city council’s agenda. BT could not force the city council to grant approval.
But that stands in contrast to an ordinance that would change city code. BT does not have the right to place a proposed change to city code on the city council’s agenda, much less force the council to enact it.