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VIDEO: County Clerk enters secure absentee ballot area alone, throws away potential ballots night before election

County Clerk Rita Glenn disposes of several documents after entering and exiting the secured absentee ballot area alone the day before the 2022 primary election and 20 minutes after the close of business hours.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has obtained security video showing Democrat St. Joseph County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Rita Glenn, entering the secured absentee ballot area alone after business hours. In the video, Glenn enters the area with a grocery bag, then exits with several documents and throws them away. The video was taken by security cameras in the hallway outside of the secured absentee voting area in the Clerk’s office and appears to show Glenn potentially ripping the documents up prior to shoving them down the sides of a blue disposal bin in an attempt to conceal them. Glenn is also seen checking another door that would give access to the hallway, potentially locking it prior to disposing the documents concealed in the bag.

The video was captured around 4:50pm on May 2nd of this year. That’s the day before the primary election and 20 minutes after the close of business hours for the Clerk’s Office. You can view the videos of her entering and exiting the ballot area below.

Sources tell RNM the minute Glenn entered the ballot area without an observer or Republican representative, she was breaking the law. The disposal of the documents is potentially another violation. REAL News Michiana reached out to Glenn for comment regarding the video, asking Glenn what she was doing in the area and asking her to identify the documents she was throwing away. As of publication, she has not responded.

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION

The discovery of this video comes only months after the Indiana State Police opened an investigation into Glenn for potential voting law crimes.  Glenn and her office are currently under investigation by the Indiana State Police following an RNM story about the Democrat having and disseminating multiple keys to the secured absentee ballot area, without the knowledge of the St. Joseph County Republican Party. The county has since hired an attorney to represent Glenn during the investigation.

In early May, Republican officials 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 in early May, 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.

The St. Joseph County GOP Chair at the time, Zach Potts (who passed away in August), brought up concerns about this “master key” at an Election Board meeting in May. That’s when 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.

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 in May. RNM did not receive statements from any of the officials.

CURRENT CLERK CANDIDATE ALSO TIED TO SCANDAL

Glenn is currently finishing the last year of her term as the St. Joseph County Clerk. However, her subordinate, Lana Cleary, is currently running as a Democrat for the position. Cleary has worked in the office for 20 years and has worked closely with Glenn in running St. Joseph County’s elections, including the absentee voting process. Sources tell RNM Cleary was well aware of the additional keys to the absentee voting area.

Cleary was endorsed by Glenn in the 2022 primary in which she defeated fellow Democrat Ann Dylewski, who is also a current employee of the Clerk’s Office.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. The security footage is damning. Worth a thousand words. Maybe Rita can explain what she took out of the Ballot Room and threw in the recycle bin…
    You’re knocking them out of the park Clifton French! Great reporting and analysis.

  2. There are numerous damning things in this video and article. There are an awful lot of doors for a supposedly “secure” area! Who is the dude that walks through the “secure” area at 0:27, he gives her a glance and clearly is not surprised to see her there. He keeps right on walking. The frosting on the cake is that Brian Davidson, St. Joe County Buildings Engineer, has both a D key and an R key. What the Hell? Who keeps an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t access this room, no one should have both keys! The video is really special, she is obviously up to no good. This is the kind of crap we have been suspicious of for a very long time in this corrupt county. We could call the sheriff but he’s a crook too. Yikes.

  3. This is a gross misuse and abuse of the common people’s trust. No wonder people have no faith in the ones they voted for such as Rita Glenn. This not only is subject for criminal prosecution but it demands the highest level of scrutiny and TRUE FACTS. It is time to hold people accountable for the abuses that they saturate our nation with. I plan to follow this story and I hope that if someone has two keys that is corrected quickly. Where will they find themselves in November?

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