Printed in the Herald-Times, September 17, 2011
To the editor:
Critics of County Clerk Linda Robbins have complained that she is not following the law by placing unopposed candidates on the ballot. We can have an argument about the meaning of "may" as opposed to words like "shall" in the Indiana Code, but the key point is the legislative summary for the law in question. The summary includes the following statement:
"Provides that uncontested municipal offices are not required to appear on the ballot in a municipal or general election."
I am not sure how this could be any clearer. The law was never intended to make it illegal to place unopposed municipal candidates on the ballot. It was intended to make it optional.
It is an abomination to democracy that anyone could be "elected" without getting even a single vote in the general election, so Robbins is exactly right. This law must be repealed 100-0 in the House and 50-0 in the Senate.
Yes, canceling the election in Ellettsville will save money, but holding elections is a basic function of government that should be funded,
Finally, the state constitution makes it illegal for government to disenfranchise citizens. Canceling elections is clearly disenfranchisement, so the law is null and void.