Election Board fines late filers

From Thursday’s Journal Gazette:

Election board levies filing fines
Officeholders facing higher penalty, standard for late finance reports

Seven local elected officials and candidates will pay fines for filing their campaign finance reports late, the Allen County Election Board decided Thursday.

The board looked at the filings of 13 officials, past officeholders and recent candidates. They took no action against several campaigns and granted extensions for two others to fix errors on their reports.

Fees ranged from $25 per business day for past elected officials and unsuccessful candidates to $50 per business day for current officeholders. Most candidates turned their forms in by the end of January.

Last year, the three-member election board began cracking down on chronic problems with candidates filing late and levied the maximum $1,000 fine against several campaigns.

The board thought that current elected officials should be held to a higher standard, said Andy Downs, Democratic board member.

Darren Vogt, Allen County councilman, and Fort Wayne city councilman Tim Pape received $50-a-day fines because of that standard.

Vogt told the board he turned his report in a day late because he noted the deadline on the wrong day on his calendar. But he questioned why others were fined less. Those who run for office need to know the rules, Vogt said.

“Set those rules and be consistent with those rules,” Vogt said.

Pape filed several days late and did not attend the meeting. […]

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