Two seek Bartholomew County Clerk job

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A newcomer is challenging a party-appointed incumbent for the position of Bartholomew County Clerk, an office that oversees local elections, maintains court records and issues marriage licenses, among other things.

Currently, Republican Shari Lentz, 59, is Bartholomew County Clerk.

In April 2021, Lentz was selected by a caucus of GOP constituency committee members to succeed former Bartholomew County Clerk Jay Phelps after he resigned to take on a new position in the office of the Secretary of State of the United States. Indiana.

Lentz is challenged by newcomer and Democratic candidate Quisha Jackson, 42, a U.S. Navy veteran and security professional with Nighthawk Security.

Q: In your opinion, what are the most important objectives that this office will have to deal with over the next four years?

Slow: The Clerk’s Office is responsible for supporting the Bartholomew County court system, serving as the payment and distribution office for child support payments and administering and executing elections. A new state-led case management system was introduced for the judiciary in 2016, so I don’t see any significant changes in the near future. There is a new child support system slated for rollout in 2023. Voter Registration and the Elections Office are working with the Indiana Electoral Division to seek guidance on ever-changing practices and legislation to conduct a bipartisan and transparent electoral process.

Jackson: I think the most critical objective that this office will have to deal with over the next four years is to maintain the integrity of elections. There have been reports that some election officials have been tasked with secretly breaking election rules in some states. These poll workers are told that it is acceptable to bring cell phones or small pads of paper and pens to take notes. This is illegal and constitutes an attack on the trust of citizens. Citizens have the right to enter the polling booth and vote with the certainty that their choice will be confidential.

Q: If elected, how do you plan to address these issues?

Slow: I will work diligently to ensure that my staff and I receive the proper training, information, and guidance to serve Bartholomew County voters well.

Jackson: Once elected, I will uphold the integrity of all election laws that govern our state. I will ensure that all election officials and workers adhere to our election policies and procedures.

Q: What technology, if any, do you think the Registrar’s Office might need in the future to fulfill its mission?

Slow: Technological advances help make our work more productive and information easier to access. We have made many improvements to the Clerk’s Office over the past few years. We became a polling center county in 2015 when I served as Supervisor of Voter Registration and Elections. Voting centers have allowed voting to become more convenient but above all safer. I will remain alert to technological advances that would benefit our office and primarily improve the services we can provide.

Jackson: I think vast improvements can be made with the county website. The website is often weeks late in posting timely and relevant information that citizens of Bartholomew County need to know. Often it takes a resident to call to find out when certain information will be available before it is finally released. I would work closely with the IT department to help identify ways to alleviate difficulties encountered by citizens while using the county website.

Q: If there was an election challenge regarding the accuracy of the vote in Bartholomew County, what is the Clerk’s role in the investigation?

Slow: I was the Supervisor of Voter Registration and Elections in 2019 when Bartholomew County held its last recount. The responsibility of the clerk during a recount is to follow the instructions given by the judge of the court with which the recount is filed. The clerk does not physically participate in the recount of the votes. Both parties are present, usually accompanied by their legal adviser, while the representatives appointed by the parties, with the assistance of the electoral salesman, recount the votes.

Jackson: As Bartholomew County Clerk, my role would be to administer a transparent voter recount in accordance with Indiana election laws. As a member of the county electoral council, I would be involved in the resolution of any irregularities or suspected irregularities. I will be responsible for holding fair elections for all candidates and citizens. If a recount is necessary, as Bartholomew County Clerk, I would facilitate the recount process in a timely, legal, and accurate manner that would leave the community confident in the final results.

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