Something unexpected popped up during Friday’s virtual meeting of the Indiana Election Commission on the Zoom online video platform.
An unidentified participant took over the single screen shared among commission members, numerous state and county election officials and members of the media and used it to display a video of a man masturbating.
A steady orange and black logo beside the steadily moving image suggests the recording originated on one of the most visited free pornographic websites on the internet.
The video ran for approximately one minute before the manager of the commission’s online services was able to switch it off and remove the alleged perpetrator from the virtual meeting.
“That was sufficiently disturbing,” quipped Paul Okeson, Election Commission chairman, after the video was removed.
Another viewer proclaimed on Twitter: “Most exciting Election Commission meeting ever.”
The practice of “Zoombombing,” or outsiders using the video platform’s screen-sharing feature to display graphic content to invited conference participants, has become more prevalent as public and private meetings across the United States have moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It did not stop the Election Commission, however, from ratifying the coronavirus related changes to the June 2 primary election agreed to Thursday by leaders of the Indiana Republican and Democratic parties, and GOP Secretary of State Connie Lawson.
Specifically, all registered voters will be eligible to cast an absentee ballot by mail, and Indiana also will offer limited in-person early voting and traditional Election Day voting to ensure every eligible voters has an opportunity to cast their ballot.
The bipartisan commission unanimously agreed to condense the usual 28 days of in-person early voting to one week, beginning May 26 and ending June 1, to ensure polling places are not dangerously crowded by voters on Election Day during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hoosiers also will be able to vote in-person between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Election Day, according to the commission’s order.
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