The Pulaski County Election Board has decided to develop fines that may affect candidates for political office.
A few members of the board recently traveled to the Indiana Election Administrators Conference. Among the topics brought back for consideration is applying fines to candidates who may not file required financial paperwork by state deadlines.
Election Board member Laura Bailey says they are under increasing pressure from the state to have a policy in place
“At this point, we’ve not been there,” says Bailey. “The state encourages us to be more diligent about following through with the financial compliance of each candidacy.”
The state outlines its own fines – which applies a percentage of $50 per day to a candidate in non-compliance with the financial filing deadlines based on the number of offenses.
Pulaski County Election Board members expressed an interest in a similar fee schedule. For a first offense, 25% of the $50 fine would apply, and so on.
Board member Jon Frain says setting fines ahead of time not only follows state recommendations, but avoids future heated discussions with candidates who may ultimately receive a fine.
“I would rather have the fine fees set ahead of time than have to vote on how much to fine somebody because that looks like we’re picking on them,” says Frain.
Once a policy has been developed and approved, a sheet will be given to the candidates upon filing for office by the Pulaski County Clerk that specifies that fines that could potentially be incurred for filing paperwork late, or not at all.
The Election Board recommended the state’s fee schedule for local use, unanimously.