Schuetter Officially Ends Appeal Process

The democratic candidate in the November 3rd 2015 Jasper Mayoral election has made it officially known that he has ended his efforts to seek the office as Wayne Schuetter decided late last week he will not file an appeal of the recount that broke a tie in the election.

Schuetter says he had talked to numerous attorneys about possible appeals. He said he was told that it would be very difficult to get a favorable ruling for a special election and it would take a great deal of time and resources. Resources he felt he did not have. Schuetter also said he did not feel continuing the fight would be in the best interest of the city.

During a press conference held at the Jasper Train Depot this morning (Tuesday) Schuetter talked about how he felt some procedures for handling ballots should be reviewed.

He said he felt that the process has damaged Jasper image and hopes the Dubois County Election board will work towards improving that image.

Schuetter based his campaign throughout on the importance of responsible city government spending.  He says citizens of Jasper need to stay aware of how taxpayers dollars are being spent.

The race for Jasper mayor ended in a deadlock between Schuetter and Republican incumbent Terry Seitz who each received 1,856 votes. Independent candidate Joshua Budd receiving 190 votes.

Seitz filed a lawsuit Nov. 16 in Dubois Circuit Court for a recount of ballots in the race and also for the option of holding a special election.  Daviess Superior Court Judge Dean A. Sobecki presided over the suit.

The recount process with the commission began Monday, Dec. 14, after the recount commission was sworn in. Six people selected as counters went through the precincts’ tallies to make sure the machine and absentee votes were counted accurately. Four votes were flagged; three of those votes came before the recount commission.

On Friday, Dec. 18, the recount commission decided with a 2-1 vote that an absentee vote for Schuetter would not be counted. Commission members Merrill Osterman and Karen Mannix said the ballot was not valid because it had not been initialed by two members of the county clerk’s office, which is required by state code. One member of the commission, Art Nordhoff, said that the vote should count because it was not the voter’s fault that the ballot was not initialed.

The change left the final vote total 1,856-1,855 in Seitz’s favor.

The recount commission’s decision was filed Monday, Dec. 21. On that date, Schuetter held a press conference to propose that an election be held within the first two weeks of January to decide the race instead. Seitz declined the proposal that afternoon, stating that there was no legal precedent for holding a special election.

Schuetter is a member and past chairman of the Jasper Utility Services Board and will continue to serve the board.

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