Chesterton Tribune



Nearly 14 percent of registered voters in county voted early

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Early-voting ended in Porter County at 12 p.m. Monday. When it did nearly 14 percent of the county’s eligible voters had cast in-person ballots since early-voting began, on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Specifically, a total of 17,290 people--or 13.6 percent of the roughly 125,000 registered voters in the county--early-voted at one of three locations, Kathy Kozuszek, the Democratic director of Voter Registration, told the Chesterton Tribune after deadline on Monday: the Porter County Administration Building in Valparaiso, the North County Government Complex in Portage, or the town hall meeting room in Chesterton.

“We surpassed the 2008 early-vote total two weeks ago,” Kozuszek said, with fully 3,966 of the 17,290 early-voters casting ballots at the Chesterton town hall.

The hallmark of this fall’s early-voting period: long--very long--lines, Kozuszek said. Over the last week or so, voters at the Admin Building sometimes had to wait as long as two hours to cast their ballots. There was, now and then, a disgruntled word or two expressed by those standing in line, Kozuszek added, but when told about the sheer volume of early-voting those in the queue proved to be pretty forgiving.

Meanwhile, shortly after 12 p.m. Monday the Tribune did receive a report of a very slow-moving line at the Chesterton early-voting location, the town hall meeting room at 726 Broadway. That person told the Trib that some voters who had been in that line were turned away at 12 p.m.

Kozuszek, however, adamantly challenged the credibility of that report; said that no one who was actually in line at 12 p.m. would have been turned away; and noted that “there have been zero complaints” about the Chesterton early-voting site.

“This has been going on for 28 days,” Kozuszek said. “If anyone left before 12 p.m., it’s on them.”

To be absolutely sure that everyone in line by 6 p.m. today--when the polls close in Porter County--does get the chance to vote, a judge at each precinct in the county will take a place at the end of the line at 5:55 p.m. Then, at 6 p.m., when the poll is officially closed, everyone in line in front of the judge will be allowed to cast his or her ballot.


Posted 11/8/2016







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