Former Election Republican Board Member clarifies reason for being absent, without key amid ballot controversy

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 7:28 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A key player in St. Joseph County’s key controversy explained his role in the incident and his concerns about ballot security.

It takes two keys to open the door of the closet where absentee ballots are stored. One is held by a Republican, and the other, by a Democrat.

The idea is that neither can get in without the other knowing.

In a statement issued on Monday, Republican Keyholder Ben Horvath said he typically arrives at 7:30 a.m. to unlock the door and returns at 5:30 p.m. to lock it.

But on May 2, he was a no-show.

Horvath claims it was a scheduling conflict, an oversight, but stressed that it was not a refusal to perform his duty. By mid-morning he says he did get a key to a stand-in, only to learn that the Democrat clerk already managed to get into the closet using a duplicate of the Republican key, which Horvath claims was not properly in her possession.

Horvath says he resigned from his position on the election board citing the board’s refusal to implement policies to address ballot security issues.

Each side accuses the other of spreading misinformation about the situation.

Horvath sought to stress that he was not refusing to perform his duty as the keyholder.

On Friday, St. Joseph County resident and lawyer, Michael McManus, as well as others, claimed Horvath was the one who needs to be held accountable for failing to unlock the door to the ballot room the day before a primary election.

On Monday, Indiana Republicans as well as the St. Joseph County Republican Party filed a lawsuit against Rita Glenn and Charles Leone.