Democrats and Republicans hold separate press conferences regarding Clerk Rita Glenn

NOW: Democrats and Republicans hold separate press conferences regarding Clerk Rita Glenn

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- St Joseph County Democrats and Republicans held separate press conferences Tuesday about the controversy involving County Clerk Rita Glenn.

The controversy surrounds access to the absentee ballot room

According to the county Board of Commissioners, the standard procedure requires two keys to open the door to the ballot room. Democrats are given one key and Republicans are given the other.

Glenn is alleged to have entered a secure ballot room the day before the May 3 primary election without following the proper access procedure. After going into the room, she was seen on video throwing away what looks like rolls of paper, possibly from that room.

Democrats have placed part of the blame on Republican Ben Horvath, the Republican keyholder, because he says a scheduling conflict prevented him from being present to use his key to unlock the ballot room when the clerk needed access.

Last Friday, the Election Board passed a resolution that delegates "powers and duties imposed upon the Election Board to the Circuit Court Clerk whenever facilities of the clerk's office make it more reasonable and efficient for the clerk to do so for the 2022 Election cycle." Click here to view the resolution.

St. Joseph County Republicans held a press conference Tuesday to announce they have filed a lawsuit against Election Board Democrat Charles Leone and Rita Glenn for the resolution, alleging it strips Republican board member Thomas Dixon of the right to review absentee ballots and maintain access to one of the two keys to the ballot room for Republicans, and instead gives those powers to the county clerk.

“There is a scandal. The scandal is removing bi-partisan oversight from our elections. That has nothing to do with Democrats doing it to Republicans or Republicans doing it to Democrats," said Andrew Jones, who filed the lawsuit on Dixon's behalf.

County Democrats are arguing that the GOP have attacked Glenn because they want voters to lose confidence in the election process.

“It’s very disheartening that the St. Joe County GOP leadership is joining that chorus, orchestrating an unrelenting, coordinated attack in order to manufacture a fake conspiracy in the hopes of scoring political points," Diana Hess, Chair of the St. Joseph County Democrats, said.

Despite the lawsuit and the investigation, neither side is questioning the results of the election.

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