February 20, 2016

Election Commission Splits Decision, Young Stays On the Ballot

Arguments before the Election Commission involved everything from a missing ballot petition page to an allegation of forgery. - Brandon Smith

Arguments before the Election Commission involved everything from a missing ballot petition page to an allegation of forgery.

Brandon Smith

INDIANAPOLIS -- U.S. Rep Todd Young will stay on the U.S. Senate GOP primary ballot after the Indiana Election Commission Friday did not uphold challenges to his candidacy. 

The state Democratic Party and U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman – Young’s Republican primary opponent – filed challenges to Young's candidacy, claiming he didn’t have the necessary voter signatures to make the ballot. 

Arguments before the Election Commission involved everything from a missing ballot petition page to an allegation of forgery.  Attorney Jim Bopp, representing Stutzman, says the issue boils down to what he calls “gross negligence” by the Young campaign.

“They were doggone close to the line and they better at least count their own petition," Bopp said. "But instead, they come here and in my view make a farce of the process.”

Attorney David Brooks, representing Young, says the disputed signatures involved nothing more than minor clerical errors.  And he adds that the challenge is really about something else.

“You’ll be disenfranchising all of the state of Indiana from an opportunity to have a real election instead of the coronation of Marlin Stutzman,” Brooks said.

The commission split, 2-2, meaning Young will remain on the ballot. Its ruling can be appealed in court.  Democrats say they haven’t decided whether to take that step.  The Stutzman campaign couldn’t be reached for comment.

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