McCauley questioned why there were so many counts listed on the indictment considering early media reports that the allegations came from only one absentee ballot last year.
Negangard said that one ballot brought the activity to light but multiple discrepancies were brought forth after police investigated.
Republicans in Jennings County challenged several absentee ballots that were submitted in 2010, according to Negangard. Democrats subsequently ran an advertisement in the North Vernon Plain Dealer accusing the Republicans of trying to deny those absentee voters their constitutional rights. One of those voters identified in the ad was a Marine named Ben Cook, who later signed a sworn affidavit stating he’d never cast a ballot. That initiated the larger investigation.
Negangard said none of Marshall’s charges were related to the Ben Cook matter, but actually to later findings.
Marshall faces 12 counts of forgery, a class C felony that could carry a maximum of eight years in prison; 20 counts of voter fraud and 13 counts of perjury – both of which are class D felonies, punishable by up to three years in prison each. Negangard said arrest warrants would be issued Monday if they haven’t already. Once those indicted are arrested, an initial hearing date will be set and the case would move through the legal system like any other.
Attempts to reach Marshall Friday were unsuccessful.
By Friday afternoon, it was unclear whether Galligan’s was the only local campaign on which Marshall was working. McCauley said he didn’t know. Democratic Party Chairman Rod Pate said he wasn’t aware of Marshall working on any other campaigns in the county.
The News and Tribune was told that Clarksville Town Councilman David Fisher had hired Marshall. His campaign finance report did not reflect such, however. A reporter attempted to contact Fisher to confirm it directly but the call was disconnected as soon as the question was asked. Fisher did not return a subsequent call.
Pate said he believed the indictment was political in nature.
“People make accusations all the time,” he said. “It’s like farting in an elevator and blaming it on the guy next to you,” he said.
Galligan faces Republican Mike Moore and Libertarian Bob Isgrigg in his re-election campaign. Election Day is Nov. 8.