Porter County Clerk
Jessica Bailey reported at Thursday’s Election Board meeting that the new
Office of Elections and Registration is gearing up to offer training for
candidates running for local office.
Bailey said the
training will be held in a two-hour session on a weekend and will touch on
issues such as filing campaign finance reports, creating proper campaign
signage, and other campaign laws and requirements. Election Board Attorney
Monica Conrad is working on a disclaimer clarifying that candidates
themselves are still responsible for knowing the laws.
In other business,
Bailey also congratulated Elections Director Sundae Schoon for being
accepted into Ball State’s Certificate in Elections, Administration,
Technology, and Security (CEATS) program. Bailey reported the program
follows changes in state law and updated technology so election
professionals can learn about topics like human resources, poll worker
training, election and procedural law, space management, public relations,
information technology, and cybersecurity in one go.
Schoon reported the
Elections and Registration office completed its voter list maintenance by
the state deadline of Aug. 8. Postcards went out to every registered voter.
Schoon said the
Elections and Registration booth at the Porter County Fair was a hit, with
more than 670 people of all ages testing out the County’s new voting
machines. A lot of parents brought their teens who will be voting for the
first time in November, and many older people came to familiarize themselves
with the new technology, according to Schoon.
The Board discussed
acquiring software so candidates can file campaign finance reports online.
The Board took no action, but agreed that online reports have several
benefits. Board member Jeff Chidester said he thinks the state provides an
option for online campaign finance reporting that is free to candidates.
Chidester said he
sees the benefits of online paperwork when he files union paperwork. “It’s
always on time. It’s just so easy. If you have to do this paper, you’re
constantly making notes and changing things, reprinting things,” he said.
“It’s easier on us, too.” Bailey agreed, adding that typed reports are
easier to read.