Seitz refuses special election option

Jasper Mayor Terry Seitz said it was time to move forward and refused to take part in a special election as requested by his opponent in the municipal election, Wayne Schuetter. The two tied with 1,856 votes each. That tie was pushed to Seitz's favor after a recount commission threw out a ballot for improper signatures.

Jasper Mayor Terry Seitz said it was time to move forward and refused to take part in a special election as requested by his opponent in the municipal election, Wayne Schuetter. The two tied with 1,856 votes each. That tie was pushed to Seitz’s favor after a recount commission threw out a ballot for improper signatures.

Jasper Mayor Terry Seitz refused to participate in the special election proposed by challenger Democrat Wayne Schuetter.

Schuetter made the request known at a press conference held at the Jasper Train Depot. (Story here.)

In response, Mayor Seitz held a press conference at the City Hall at 1 p.m.

Seitz prefaced the conference by stating he was there to respond to Schuetter’s request and he would not be taking questions from those attending.

“I find it interesting that there was no call for a special election on November 4,” Seitz read from his prepared remarks. “In fact, there was a willingness to let the Council decide. Under the same election law, I filed for a recount.”

That recount ended with four ballots contested – three for erasure or marking issues and one due to a missing signature. The only ballot thrown out was one endorsing Schuetter as mayor that was missing the initials of the Democratic representative of the bipartisan pair that inspects each ballot used by the travel board or for absentee voting. The ballot is inspected prior to it leaving to ensure it is clean of any marks and is valid.

“In regards to the recount results, Indiana law requires that the entire ballot may not be counted unless the ballot is endorsed properly,” Seitz said. “The Indiana Supreme Court has declared this law to be constitutional. As to any voter disenfranchisement, I submit Mr. Schuetter and his team were well prepared to disenfranchise the two votes that were argued on his behalf.”

Those votes were argued due to the marks appearing to be tampered or erased. One was lighter than the other marks on the ballot and on the second ballot, it appeared the voter had attempted to erase the vote for mayor while voting a straight party ticket.

Seitz explained that the Indiana Code calls for certain standards pursuant to a special election. “There is no legal precedent for holding a special election under the circumstances with which we are currently presented,” he said.

He explained that he disagreed with Schuetter’s sentiments that Jasper’s reputation had been tarnished by the election proceedings. “To the contrary, we are proud our campaign for reelection was honest, forthright and legal by every standard.”

He added that he would not take part in a special election.

“The determination by the duly appointed recount commission is final,” Seitz said. “It is time to move forward and as the duly elected mayor of the City of Jasper, I am going to do just that.”

Schuetter stated this morning, depending on Seitz’s response, on Tuesday, December 29, he would announce whether or not he intends to appeal the recount commission’s decision to Special Judge Dean Sobecki.

2 Responses to Seitz refuses special election option

  1. Brett December 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

    Sorry Wayne Schuetter, but the election is over. The law is pretty clear on this. No use to “beat a dead horse” on this one Mr. Schuetter. Schuetter has been known to “beat dead horses in the past”. For Instance the power plant mistake:

    Every intelligent person alive:”turns out the burning grass won’t make enough energy to matter. Not only that, when it burned coal, the amount of energy was barely worth it and that’s why they shut it down in the first place.”

    Schuetter:”well, hold off, let’s look at this. there are other options. blah, blah, blah.”

    There will be no grass burning, and Seitz is the new mayor. These are realities. Accept them, and move on with life.

    • Bob December 21, 2015 at 10:03 pm #

      Funny…..Seitz was the FIRST PERSON to mention special election. And by the way….the “other options” Wayne mentioned were the same options Seitz agreed with in his letter on June 24, 2011. Look it up!!!

      Written by Terry Seitz June 24, 2011
      I remain open to consideration of a natural gas conversion of the existing plant.