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Late campaign-finance filers won’t be fined

February 15, 2013

    Three candidates in last year's elections who filed late campaign finance reports will not be fined, the Adams County Election Board decided at a recent meeting.
    John Minch of Berne, a Democrat who unsuccessfully sought a seat on the county council, was two days late filing his report, according to Adams County Clerk Gayla Reinhart.
    Doug Bauman, rural Decatur resident and longtime Republican county commissioner who won a new term, was 14 days late, while Democrat Dennis Hain of Decatur, a Democrat unsuccessful in his bid for a county council seat, was just two hours late.
    "After a lot of discussion and looking at past decisions we decided that the late fines would be forgiven," Reinhart told the Daily Democrat."
    The county election board is allowed to fine those who are late $50 a day up to a maximum of $1,000, even for those who are couple of hours late.
    "Those in the past who had no funds left and disbanded their committees were forgiven and we saw no reason to change that now," Reinhart noted. "We needed to be consistent and fair to all candidates."
    Also at the meeting, the election board chose Alan Baumgartner as its president. Other members are Reinhart, by virtue of her office, and Abby Dyer of Decatur who replaced the late Ralph Smith Jr., a longtime member of the board.

Vote centers
     Meanwhile, the board decided to investigate vote centers to see if they would be a good fit for Adams County, the clerk said.
    She said the board plans to get together with and seek information from officials of a county about the size of Adams that was a test county for voting center.
    The Indiana Election Division says a vote center is a polling place where any eligible voter in the county may go to vote. The vote center model gives voters more flexibility on Election Day because they are not constrained to a specific polling location.
    Vote centers are connected through secure Internet connections, and as ballots are cast, an electronic poll book is instantaneously updated.


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