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SJC Officials Discover Multiple Keys Made for Secured Absentee Ballot Area — Extra Republican Keys Held by Democrats

County-City Building, Photo: Google Maps

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Republican officials have discovered the existence of multiple keys to access what is supposed to be a secure location to store absentee ballots before they’re counted. The room in the County-City Building, in Downtown South Bend, is secured with two different locks, one for the Republicans the other for the Democrats. In theory, a Republican and Democrat keyholder must be present to gain access to the ballots. While Republican leadership was under the impression that only one key existed for each lock, it turns out there could be up to 7 keys total, with multiple Republican keys being held by Democrats.

DISCOVERY OF KEYS

According to sources who wished not to be named, the revelations came through simple confusion about when designated keyholders were supposed to be at the County-City Building to open the room. The Republican key holder was not immediately available to open the room on Monday of this week, so Democrat St. Joseph County Circuit Court Clerk, Rita Glenn, grabbed what she called a “Master Key” and had what she claimed to be a “Republican” in her office open the door for her. That “Republican” is Helen Jojo. A quick search of her voting records show she has never voted in a Republican primary and is not considered to be a Republican by Indiana statute. In fact, the only primary she has voted in was in 2008 as a Democrat, according to voting records.

St. Joseph County GOP Chair, Zach Potts, brought up concerns about this “master key” at the last Election Board meeting. That’s where it was discovered even more keys existed.

WHO HAS THE KEYS

At the meeting, Rita Glenn claimed three people, aside from her, have Republican keys.

  • Ben Horvath: Republican Election Board Chair — Voted in only Republican Primaries. Horvath is selected as the official key holder.
  • Penny Stratton: Election Clerk and Employee of the St. Joseph County Circuit Court — Voted in only Democrat Primaries.
  • Brian Davidson: St. Joseph County Buildings Engineer — Voted in Republican Primary in 2020, Democrat Primaries in 2019 and 2018.

Glenn also disclosed that there are three Democrat keys. Those keyholders are listed below.

  • Brian Davidson: St. Joseph County Buildings Engineer — Voted in Republican Primary in 2020, Democrat Primaries in 2019 and 2018.
  • Penny Stratton: Election Clerk and Employee of the St. Joseph County Circuit Court — Voted in only Democrat Primaries.
  • Rita Glenn: Democrat St. Joseph County Circuit Court Clerk

IS IT ILLEGAL?

The intent of the law mandating the two lock system is to maintain election integrity. The law mandates there be Democrat lock with a key given to a Democrat keyholder and a separate lock with a key given to a Republican keyholder. While the intent of the law appears to stipulate that there only be one key per lock, Indiana Statute does not specifically state additional keys can or cannot exist.

You can read the entire statute below:

IC 3-11-10-10 Absentee ballots to be kept under two locks in cabinets, boxes, or room; security of keys

     Sec. 10. During the period that absentee ballots are being received, each county election board shall keep the ballots in cabinets, boxes, or a room upon which there are two (2) locks, one (1) for each of the appointed members of the board. Each day the absentee ballots shall be placed in the cabinets, boxes, or room under the direction of the appointed members of the board. If an appointed member cannot be present each day, then that member shall designate someone from the member’s political party to be present with the key to the lock at the time the ballots are secured and at the time the lock is opened the next day. The key of each appointed member of the board shall be kept secure in the manner determined by that appointed member.

The St. Joseph County Election Board plans to address the issue further at its next meeting.

REAL News Michiana reached out to Democrat County Clerk Rita Glenn, St. Joseph County GOP Chair Zach Potts and St. Joseph County Democrat Party Chair Diana Hess for statements. As of publication, RNM has not received statements from any of the officials.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. IC 3-11-10-10 states the key, which is singular. If the intention of the rule meant there could be more than one it would have stated the keys. Hairs are being split for criminal activity.

  2. Sadly the statute is also silent about the consequence of failure to comply with the statute. The only remedy for this wrongdoing is to find a trail of evidence leading to voting fraud that could only be attributed to trespassing in the secured room. I am hopeful that we are all waking up to the need to monitor and gather this kind of voting fraud evidence, citing Dinesh D’Souza’s new film “2000 Mules”. IOW, hopefully the Election Board will have cameras installed to monitor the entrance to the room.

  3. It is clear that the letter and spirit of this law is that only one key exists for each party. This allows both parties to go home and sleep soundly, knowing no one from the other party can access the ballot room without both parties being present.

    And now, Rita Glenn says, “Well, the law does not say there can’t be multiple keys”, and that she interprets this to mean she can make as many copies of the Republican keys as she wants, and hand them out to as many Democratic County workers as she pleases? Sounds like she is getting an argument ready for court, but no way this will win in the court of public opinion.

    Rita Glenn made illegal copies of the Republican key, and then she used them to enter the absentee voting room on the DAY BEFORE THE PRIMARY, without a Republican present. And she has admitted to these facts in the last Election Board meeting.

    State officials need to conduct a full investigation to find out how many illegal keys are out there, and how many times they have been used to illegally enter the ballot room without a Republican being present.

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