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.”
Guenther is quoted in the release saying, “After careful consideration of my current schedule, obligations, and personal health, I cannot in good conscience continue my campaign for Bloomington city council.”
Guenther’s statement continues, “The people of Bloomington deserve better than a part-time councilmember who cannot dedicate themselves fully to serving the public interest.”
Guenther is now a graduate student at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and in the O’Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs.
He is former chair of Bloomington’s environmental commission. Guenther has also served on Monroe County’s environmental commission and Bloomington’s board of housing quality appeals.
Early Thursday morning, Andrew Guenther filed the paperwork required to create an exploratory committee for a Bloomington city council run in 2023.
Guenther will be starting law school at Indiana University this fall. He holds an undergraduate degree from IU in public affairs, and is currently working on a masters degree.
Guenther is former chair of Bloomington’s environmental commission. He has also served on Monroe County’s environmental commission and Bloomington’s board of housing quality appeals.
In 2019 Guenther ran for the District 2 city council seat as a Republican, but lost in the general election to Democrat Sue Sgambelluri.
Compared to 2019, two things are different about a potential run next year. First, Guenther is considering a run as an independent candidate, unaffiliated with any political party. Guenther announced on Jan. 2, 2021 that he was no longer a member of the Republican Party.
A second difference is that Guenther would be a candidate for an at-large seat on the council.
The three at-large seats are elected citywide, which means candidate eligibility is based just on city residency. That removes from the equation any uncertainty related to the outcome of this year’s redistricting process—which will likely see some changes to the boundaries of the six council districts.
Looking north with the election operations building on the left and the new parking garage in the background.
The hand of Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne, after she voted. She’s running unopposed for re-election.
The trademark blue former NAPA building at 3rd and Walnut streets, just south of the new parking garage and west of the downtown transit center, is the new home to Monroe County’s voting operations.
Tuesday was the first day of in-person early voting for the May 3 primary elections.
At 8 o’clock sharp, Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne emerged from the front door to perform the ritual that marked the start of the voting day.
Browne raised her voice to the overcast sky: “Hear ye, hear ye, the polls are now open!”
In the first half hour of voting, only a handful of voters cast a ballot. By then, light rain was falling on the few candidates and volunteers who had come to canvas the early voters.
By around 4 p.m., the count of early voters had reached just 58. For the general election in 2020, Monroe County averaged more than 1,000 early in-person voters a day. It’s not surprising that interest in the primary elections, between presidential election years, is comparatively lower.