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MARCH 24, 1997
MEMBERS PRESENT: Jeffery M. Mallamad (Chairman of the Indiana Election Commission [IEC]); Dudley Cruea (Vice-Chairman); Butch Morgan); Joseph M. Perkins, Jr.
MEMBERS ABSENT: None
STAFF ATTENDING: Laurie P. Christie, Co-Director, Election Division, Office of the Indiana Secretary of State ("Election Division"), Mary Ann Tippett, Co-Director, Election Division; J. Bradley King, Co-General Counsel, IEC and Election Division; Kristi Robertson, Co-General Counsel, IEC and Election Division; Michelle Thompson, Campaign Finance, Election Division.
ALSO ATTENDING: Beth Henkel, Attorney General's Office.
The chair recognized Ms. Christie, who noted that Ms. Casto was attending a House Elections Committee meeting taking place at the same time at this meeting. The chair then recognized Ms. Thompson to give this report.
Ms. Thompson stated that regular party committees were required to file their 1996 annual reports on March 3, 1997, at noon. She indicated that one committee has not yet filed, and that four others had filed after the deadline. In response to a question from the chair, Ms. Thompson stated that all other regular party committees had filed in compliance with the campaign finance statute.
The chair recognized Mr. King, who stated that Commission members had received a draft copy of Order 1997-38, which dismisses this cause against this committee in accordance with the Commission's action taken at its March 12, 1997 meeting. A copy of Order 1997-38 is incorporated by reference in these minutes. [Copies of all documents incorporated by reference are available for public inspection and copying in the Election Division office.]
In response to a question from the chair, Mr. King stated that this Order incorporated the minutes of the March 12, 1997 meeting by reference, and that the March 12 minutes set forth the details concerning the testimony of Representative Leuck regarding her use of UPS to provide overnight mail service that ordinarily would have resulted in her report arriving before the filing deadline. Mr. Mallamad noted that he believed it was important for there to be an explanation for the Commission's action in this matter.
After further review of this order, Mr. Mallamad moved, seconded by Mr. Perkins, to adopt Order 1997-38. The chair called the question, and declared that with four members (Mr. Cruea, Mr. Mallamad, Mr. Perkins, and Mr. Rogers) voting "aye" and no member voting "nay", the motion was adopted.
Ms. Henkel stated that the BAPAC v. Mallamad case, which involves the Indiana Campaign Finance Act's requirement for political action committees to file campaign finance reports, was still pending in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She noted that her office had recently received the reply brief from BAPAC, and that this case has not yet been set for oral argument before the Seventh Circuit. Ms. Henkel stated that she anticipated that this would be set within the next thirty days since the Court recesses June 6, 1997. In response to a question from the chair, Ms. Henkel noted that the issue in this case involved the definition of "PAC" under Indiana law, which Judge Hamilton had construed to be limited to groups engaging in "express advocacy" and not merely advocacy involving issues, which would be protected speech under the First Amendment. Ms. Henkel added that BAPAC continues to allege that its exercise of free speech rights is "chilled" by this statute.
Mr. King added that with regard to the recertification application for the GBS ACCU-TAB punch card voting system, notice of the May 12, 1997 public hearing had been sent to all counties using this system, and that one written comment had already been received. A copy of Ms. Casto and Ms. Christie's letter to Mr. Mandel concerning the ACCU-TAB voting system, and dated March 13, 1997, and a copy of the public hearing notice sent to circuit court clerks of counties using this system, is incorporated by reference in these minutes.
Mr. King remarked that the Division had received a letter this morning from Steven Corey, Indiana Sales Representative for MicroVote Corporation, and distributed copies of the letter to Commission members. A copy of this letter, dated March 21, 1997, is incorporated by reference in these minutes.
Mr. King noted that this letter concerned MicroVote's recertification application for the MV 464 direct recording electronic voting system. He added that Wyle Laboratories has approved the MV 464 voting system, with the exception of the MEMS software. Mr. King stated that MicroVote was requesting to have the MEMS software certified by Indiana in the same manner that GBS had its voting system software approved, that is, by referral to Information Services Division for evaluation. He added that MicroVote's letter indicated their intent to also have this software certified by Nichols Research when Nichols was ready to begin the certification process. Mr. King noted that following approval by Nichols, MicroVote could then proceed to vend the MV 464 with MEMS in other states. He concluded by stating that he did not believe MicroVote was requesting a decision from the Commission on this point today, but was advising the Commission of their future intentions.
The chair noted that with the dissolution of the Indiana Voting Systems Advisory Committee, the Commission was assuming jurisdiction in the voting system certification area. He requested that staff prepare a short memorandum before the next Commission meeting so that Commission members could have a better understanding of the historical background, terminology, and procedures in this area. Mr. King and Ms. Robertson agreed to do so.
Ms. Tippett noted that Ms. Kathy Koehler had prepared a document entitled "The Impact of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 on the Administration of Elections 1995-1996" in response to a survey of states required under NVRA and conducted by the Federal Election Commission. A copy of this document is incorporated by reference in these minutes. Ms. Christie noted that Indiana's NVRA report for 1995-1996 was due March 31, 1997, and that Ms. Koehler had done an admirable job in compiling the statistics necessary for this survey. She added that this document had been reviewed by Election Division staff and the Secretary of State's office, and was ready to submit to the FEC.
Ms. Christie stated that staff had done a wonderful job during the last several months, when work had been very intense. She noted the demands on the office would probably continue to be intense during the remainder of the legislative session. Ms. Christie stated that she commended everybody for working as a team and for their diligent efforts.
In response to a question from the chair, Ms. Christie stated that while there was not a definite date for the 1997 Election Administrators seminar, staff had polled circuit court clerks at the district meetings and was considering a mid-November date. She stated that staff was checking the availability of downtown hotels during the second and third weeks of November as a first choice.
In response to a question from the chair, Ms. Christie indicated that the agenda for the seminar could be discussed by Commission members at a future meeting. The chair stated that Commission members could add an "outsider's perspective." Ms. Christie encouraged all Commission members to participate as much as possible in this seminar.
The chair expressed his appreciation to staff for the time taken to prepare for all the Commission meetings conducted during the past month. He stated that the Commission had covered a large amount of ground during the last few meetings.