By Scott Tibbs, September 28, 2016
Note: I submitted this as a letter to the editor to the Indiana Daily Student.
If you are a progressive student, you might be inclined to pull the straight ticket lever for Democrats, because you generally agree with Democrats and/or because you are particularly disturbed by Donald Trump. As someone who will have to live with the consequences of how you vote in local government elections long after you are gone, I urge you not to do that.
People who vote straight ticket Democrat without examining the qualifications, experience and ethics of down-ballot races are why we have corruption, massive financial mismanagement, and credit card fraud in county government. The Democrat elected as county Auditor in the Obama wave of 2008 committed credit card fraud using the county government credit card, and the Democrat who was elected county Auditor in 2012 is currently under investigation for the same thing!
Offices like Auditor and Treasurer have nothing to do with political ideology or policy. What matters in those races is the qualifications and (much more importantly) the ethics of the candidates. What matters is whether someone can balance the books and will operate with honesty and integrity. The Democrat running for Auditor cost the county $150,000 because she could not balance her books, while the "independent" candidate for Auditor (also a Democrat) served as Chief Deputy under the last two Auditors and did nothing about their abuses of power.
The Republican candidate for Auditor, Ann Boehm, has promised to uphold the highest ethical standards, will implement basic "best practices" and has promised that no employee will be terminated without cause or for political affiliation. This is a policy that has been needed for a long time, as experienced and qualified employees have been pushed out in favor of nepotism, cronyism and patronage.
The county Auditor's race is just one race on the ballot, but every race should be considered on its own merits - especially at the county level. Please educate yourself about every race on your ballot in county government, and vote accordingly. Split your ticket to give the most deserving candidates your votes, especially in administrative positions that do not make policy.