Business

New nonpartisan group targets voter turnout

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — With Election Day 2019 behind us, now the electorate attention will turn towards the primary and general election seasons of 2020.

A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Indiana Citizen Education Foundation Inc., has been created to increase the number of informed Hoosier voters.

“The Hoosier democracy is not healthy right now,” states Bill Moreau, co-founder of the ICEF, a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote organization.

The foundation is attempting to improve what it describes as Indiana’s lagging civic rankings. The Indiana Secretary of State’s office says statewide voter participation in 2018 was 32 percent. Tuesday’s election saw a 24 percent participation rate in Marion County.

“Indiana consistently ranks low for voter registration, turnout and civic literacy,” said Bill Moreau, co-founder of ICEF. “We need more Hoosiers to vote and have access to reliable, unbiased information about the candidates and issues.”

Moreau says it’s not only about getting more people to vote, but to ensure they know why they are voting for certain candidates or issues.

A big element of the nonprofit is an online tool that will help Hoosiers confirm, modify or initiate voter registration.

The website, www.indianacitizen.org, will also help voters determine who represents them at all levels of government.

Moreau says the closer to the May primary and the November general election, a voter will be able to see the names on the ballot and be linked to information about the candidates and contact them.

Moreau says he and his wife, Ann, formed the organization. He’s retiring from the law firm Barnes & Thornburg at the end of 2019 and says he will focus fulltime on helping Hoosiers get better educated about the voting process.

“As we sat down to plan our retirement, we thought about the things that were most important to us and thought about our grandsons who are being raised here in Indiana? What kind of state are we going to leave behind us? These are values that and I hold so very, very dear,” said Moreau.

Bill Moreau tells Inside INdiana Business about the need for voter education in Indiana.

Click here to learn more about the nonprofit and find out who is already supporting the organization.

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2 Columbus police officers arrested, facing charges of misconduct, ghost employment

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Two Columbus police officers have been arrested on multiple charges including official misconduct and ghost employment.

According to Indiana State Police, Dan Meister and Ron May were arrested for allegedly working off-duty security jobs while also working on duty with the Columbus Police Department. An investigation into the officers began in November 2018 after a request was made by the Columbus Police Department.

Lt. Dan Meister and Sgt. Ron May allegedly worked overlapping shifts for both the police department and Columbus Regional Hospital between February 2015 and August 2018. The officers were paid by CPD and the hospital for the same hours worked on multiple occasions.

Meister had overlapped hours on 52 different occasions and May overlapped on 62 occasions, investigators say.

The investigation was turned over to a special prosecutor and arrest warrants were issued for the men on Friday. They were arrested Friday afternoon without incident and taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, police say.

Both officers are facing charges of official misconduct, ghost employment and theft.

May and Meister are expected to face initial hearings soon.

Information about how long they have worked with CPD was not immediately available.

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