A ballot requirement that is clearly and plainly illegal
On February 21, the Democratic majority on the Monroe County Election Board voted to remove the Republican candidate for county assessor from the May primary ballot.
This is based on the requirement that he must have attained a Level 3 certification as an assessor. Here is the problem: The ballot requirement itself is clearly and plainly illegal.
First, the Indiana Constitution, which trumps state law:
Section 23. The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.
Now, the “law” as it stands now:
Sec. 23. (a) A candidate for the office of county assessor must:
(1) have resided in the county for at least one (1) year before the election, as provided in Article 6, Section 4 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana;
(2) own real property located in the county upon taking office; and
(3) fulfill the requirements of subsections (b) through (d), as applicable.
(b) A candidate for the office of county assessor who runs in an election after June 30, 2008, must have attained the certification of a level two assessor-appraiser under IC 6-1.1-35.5.
(c) A candidate for the office of county assessor who:
(1) did not hold the office of county assessor on January 1, 2012; and
(2) runs in an election after January 1, 2012; must have attained the certification of a level three assessor-appraiser under IC 6-1.1-35.5.
(d) A candidate for the office of county assessor who:
(1) held the office of county assessor on January 1, 2012; and
(2) runs in an election after January 1, 2016; must have attained the certification of a level three assessor-appraiser under IC 6-1.1-35.5.
The problem is obvious: The “law” sets different standards for incumbents and non-incumbents in the 2012 and 2014 elections. That is clearly and plainly illegal. The state constitution makes it very clear that the general assembly may not grant one class of citizens (incumbents) a privilege that other citizens (non-incumbents) do not have.
What this means for Monroe County voters is that the 2-1 Democratic majority on the election board ruled that the Republican challenger, who has the exact same qualifications as the Democratic incumbent, may not be on the primary ballot this May. It is a clear abuse of power, and it is an illegal decision.
Beyond being illegal, voters should ask themselves a basic question of fairness: Why should an incumbent and a challenger have to meet different standards? How is that fair? This is pure hypocrisy, folks. Every Democrat on the ballot this November should be required to answer to the voters for this. Do they agree with the Democratic Party appointee and the Democratic county clerk in enforcing a ballot requirement that is both illegal and unfair?
This post was tagged under: Indiana Politics