primary went smoothly and Porter County is preparing for changes to come,
according to Porter County Clerk Jessica Bailey.
The Porter County
Election Board met for its regular meeting and to certify the results of the
municipal primary Friday afternoon.
Bailey told the
Board Election Day went well, despite a few hiccups in the morning that
caused eight precincts to open late. Approximately 12,000 voters
participated this election.
The Board struck
only three ballots from 10 provisionals that were cast. Two were voters who
failed to provide proper identification. One failed to confirm residency.
The three voters
will get letters explaining why their votes were struck, so they can
register properly for the next election, Bailey said.
voter feedback on the new machines has been positive, and poll workers are
giving their feedback in surveys. By Friday afternoon, she reported 120 of
the 306 workers who worked the 2019 primary had already returned their
surveys, which were sent out Thursday morning.
In other business,
Bailey said she’s coordinating with the County Council and the Board of
Commissioners to make sure the Election Board transitions smoothly to its
A new law, drafted
and passed in response to the chaotic 2018 general election where 13 polling
places opened up to two hours late and results were delayed until Nov. 9
amid a flurry of poll worker and voter complaints, dictates changes to
Porter County’s election process. Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson
concluded the election was mismanaged by the former clerk and rife with
personality conflicts among others in leadership roles.
Come July 1, the
current three-member Board will expand to five members--one new Republican
and one new Democrat member to be appointed by the respective party chairs.
All members will be subject to the County employee handbook, including
The Board will hold
a meeting on July 1 to swear in new members at a yet to be determined time
Kuziela V. Allison
The Board also held
hearings addressing two formal complaints against candidates.
Clerk-treasurer, and Chair of the Duneland district of the Porter County
Republican Party, Stephanie Kuziela filed a complaint May 2 alleging that
Robert Allison, the Democrat candidate for Chesterton’s 3rd ward Town
Council seat who ultimately won the nomination, did not have a proper
disclaimer on his campaign signs.
requires that all yard signs have a disclaimer in at least 12 point type
detailing who paid for the advertisement. Kuziela said she filed the
complaint after seeing one of Allison’s signs, sans disclaimer, in a Town of
Porter right-of-way at 23rd Street and Marquette.
Allison said he
added a compliant disclaimer to every sign within 36 hours of the complaint
Kuziela said she
doesn’t want further action since Allison has fixed the signs.
for his mistake, saying that his first time running for office has been a
learning experience. He said he thought a simple phone call from Kuziela
about the signs would have sufficed.
“I’ve run a
positive campaign. I haven’t slung any mud. Regardless of the people who
don’t want me in office, I’ve got the Democratic nomination,” Allison said.
“I’m not gonna be deterred by any bullying acts. I’m gonna continue to run a
considered the matter resolved, but Bailey told Allison that formal
complaints are realities of running for office, which is a legal process
with proper channels to follow.
follows the rules. Just because someone files a complaint doesn’t mean
they’re mudslinging,” Bailey said.
David Welter agreed: “We can’t expect you to take a phone call from the
opposing party and take their advice, so I think that Mrs. Kuziela did the
proper thing here.”
complaint was between Nina Rivas and Liz Modesto. Rivas won the Democrat
nomination for Portage Clerk-treasurer over Modesto and complained that
Modesto’s campaign finance reports weren’t exhaustive.
Tom, who records her finances, said he was given bad advice by Victoria
Gresham at the Clerk’s office when he called and asked how to record
individual tickets from a fundraiser.
re-recorded her contributions and submitted a revised campaign finance form,
to the Board’s satisfaction.
Bailey offered that
campaign finance reports aren’t easy to fill out. She said contributions are
cumulative, for example, if someone buys a fundraiser ticket for $50 and
later buys another, the total donation has exceeded the $100 reporting
standard and must be disclosed.