The St. Joseph County Clerk is being investigated by Indiana State Police after surveillance video showed her entering a secure ballot storage room by herself just days before the May primary election.
By law, when entering the secure ballot storage room in an particular county a member of each political party must accompany the other.
Rita Glenn, a Democrat, is seen on video entering the room at the county-city building in South Bend by herself and is also seen throwing things away.
Glenn’s attorneys say she has been cooperating with ISP investigators.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 4, 2022
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS CLARIFIES REASONING
BEHIND RESOLUTION R-20-C-2022
The. Joseph County Board of Commissioners passed Resolution R20-C-2022. The Board has received several questions related to the resolution which need clarification.
The intent of the resolution is to ensure that there is transparency and trust in the voting process. The method of processing absentee ballots is intended to be bi-partisan to ensure the fidelity of the process. The Board received information that the Clerk’s office (a partisan office) has been performing functions delegated to the Election Board and the Absentee Voter Board (bipartisan bodies) by the law. Further, the Board has received information that
the handling and storage of the absentee ballots were not conducted in a bipartisan manner. The failure to process absentee ballots in a bi-partisan manner is a violation of election law. Thus, the Board intends to have an independent third-party review the entirety of the process to ensure that the law is followed.
Further, the Democrat Chairman of the St. Joseph County Election Board, Charles Leone, previously called for a review of the operational procedures related to Indiana Code § 3-11.5-4 et sec and Indiana Code § 3-11-10-10 by the St. Joseph County legal team. After investigation and review of the law the legal team gave an opinion that Indiana Code § 3-11.5-4 et sec and Indiana Code § 3-11-10-10 were not being properly followed, and modifications to the process should be made to comply with the law.
The Democrat Chair by Proxy of the St. Joseph County Election Board, Michelle Engel, recently rejected the interpretation of the Indiana Code sections as applied to the operational procedures by the Clerk, Election Board, and Absentee Board and requested a second opinion be sought. The independent review approved today was also due to the request of Ms. Engel.
To be clear the concerns of the Board include multiple fundamental breakdowns in the process including:
1. Violations of Indiana Code § 3-11-10-10 which delineates the process for storing absentee ballots.
2. Violations of Indiana Code § 3-11.5-4-(1-28) which specifically state the duties of the Clerk’s office, Election Board, the absentee voter board, and absentee workers in relation to the processing of absentee ballots.
3. Beverly Shelton, who pled guilty to Forgery and Falsely Making a Petition in 2012 in relation to St. Joseph County elections, was hired as an absentee ballot worker.
4. Video evidence of Rita Glenn, the elected St. Joseph County Clerk, disposing of materials after leaving the ballot storage room without a Republican present.
5. The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has received information that absentee ballots were removed from the secure ballot storage room the night before the May 2022 primary election by the Clerk’s office for “processing” after the appointed republican and appointed democrat Election Board members had left.
The Board is aware that the Indiana State Police are investigating unidentified criminal issues with the Clerk’s office and the handling of the ballots. The Board’s independent review is not intended to address possible criminal actions (although if criminal activity is uncovered, it would be reported immediately to the ISP). The intent is to ensure that the ballot processing procedures are in compliance with the letter of Indiana law.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners seeks to ensure that the voters in St. Joseph County can feel safe and secure in knowing that their vote will count, be processed in accordance with the law, and provide full transparency in the process.