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Election board addresses campaign finance issues

The Harrison County Election Board met for the first time in 2016 Friday afternoon to discuss campaign finance issues and to look ahead to the May 3 Primary election.
All candidates from last year (only town elections took place but candidates or political action committees that had money remaining are required to continue to file reports) turned in their reports on time.
Three candidates ‘ Mark Parks, Kenny Saulman and Danny Stults ‘ had minor clerical issues and will be sent a notice to make the corrections.
The Harrison County Democrat Central Committee filed only an annual report when pre-primary and pre-general election reports were required.
‘They didn’t mean to do anything intentional,’ Gordon Ingle, the Democrat’s appointee to the board, said. ‘I didn’t realize they failed to report.’
Maryland Austin, the Republican appointee, said the issue is there’s a fine for delinquent filings.
Ingle said he’d speak with the party chairman, Jim Kincaid, and Democrat representatives to see if they claim the proper items were filed.
Ingle said he’s sure they figured that, since it was a year of only town elections, they did not have to file anything except the annual report.
‘I want the opportunity to look into it,’ he said.
Austin said in the past, with late filings, a penalty fee or fine has been assessed.
‘Had I known (of the delinquency), I would have gotten on the phone and called them,’ Ingle said. ‘That’s fairness.’
Ingle said he would do so for either party.
‘We’re not to administer by ambush,’ he said. ‘I’m quite disappointed I’m finding out about this today and it was supposed to be filed in October … Had it been a Republican, I would have called.’
Circuit Court Clerk Sally Whitis said neither of the parties was a part of the email list of campaign finance notifications. She then made a motion to table this issue until Ingle had a chance to speak with Kincaid.
The board will address any possible fines or fees at its next meeting, which will be Friday, March 11, at 2 p.m.
The board will have a public test of the voting machines leading up to the May Primary Election on Wednesday, March 23, at 9 a.m. at the downtown Corydon courthouse.
The board noted that all fines were paid with the exception of Roger Wooten Sr., who was beaten in 2014 in the District 3 commissioner primary race, and Melissa (Missy) McKim, who unsuccessfully ran for county coroner in 2008.
Ingle made a motion to determine those fines as noncollectable. It passed unanimously.
A campaign finance training session for candidates or interested residents will take place Thursday, April 7, at 6 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.

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