Chesterton Tribune



Vote counting not over in Chesterton; 4 provisional voters may have power to change outcome

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It ainít over until itís over.

And thatís how it is in the case of this yearís one contested race on the Chesterton Town Council.

Four individuals may have the power to change the results and the future make up of the board.

Voters Registration Republican Director Sundae Schoon after deadline on Wednesday told the Chesterton Tribune that her office has four provisional ballots from precincts in the Town of Chesterton, creating the possibility that the tight race between Republican Nathan Cobbs and Democrat Scot McCord for the Council Ward 4 seat could have a different outcome when the Porter County Election Board approves the vote totals at noon on Friday, Nov. 13.

In the unofficial results posted Tuesday night, Cobbs had 399 votes and McCord had 398 votes.

Provisional Ballots

When certifying the vote on Nov. 13, an election board may count a provisional ballot if a voter has confirmed their identity as a valid registered voter in those precincts.

Provisional ballots are given to voters when there is a question by a poll worker or political party as to the personís qualification to vote in that precinct.

Challenges can be made if the voter lacks photo identification, their name is not on the poll list, they do not reside in the precinct or if their signature does not match the one on their registration record.

The board also counts in the final tally any ballots mailed in from military members or registered voters in the County who are overseas received before or on Election Day.

Schoon said that neither Chesterton or Porter have any overseas or military ballots left to be counted.

Local election boards are to submit final vote counts to the Indiana Secretary of Stateís Office ten days after an election.

Rarely have there been enough provisional votes to change the winner in a contested race, at least in Porter Countyís history.

But the odds are at their highest when there is a race where one vote is the difference between opposing candidates.

No More Ballots in Porter

Another wire thin race occurred in the Town of Porterís 3rd Ward Council race, where Democrat William Lopez won over Republican incumbent Rob Pomeroy, 298 to 296.

However, there are no provisional ballots for Porter, according to Schoon, which means the results for that race will most likely be the same when the vote is certified.

Clock is Ticking

Provisional ballots are kept separate from other ballots and the challenged voter has 10 days after election to provide a government-issued photo identification to the election officials or other required residency documentation in order for their ballot to be accepted.

A Tie?

Depending if any of the provisional ballots are counted, that is if any of those four people take time between now and noon on Nov. 13 to show proof they are registered in those respective precincts, there is also the chance Cobbs and McCordís race could result in a tie.

Should that be the case, the Indiana Election Division states that members of the local fiscal body pertaining to the race -- in this case the Chesterton Town Council -- would need to take a vote themselves to resolve the tie by Dec. 31.

The Election Board will meet on Nov. 13 at the Voters Registration Office, located at the Countyís Administration Center, 155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso, Room 105.

Schoon said that candidates or voters have until Nov. 17 to file a petition for a recount. McCord and Pomeroy said Wednesday they do not wish to seek recounts.



Posted 11/5/2015





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