The Porter County
Board of Commissioners was seeking this morning to extend voting hours at
some eight polling places, after they failed to open on time at 6 a.m.
“The ability to
vote is the keystone of our democracy,” the Board of Commissioners said in a
statement released around 9 a.m. “The Porter County Commissioner’s office
understands this. We know there have been some issues with polling locations
opening late today. We understand the frustration of voters in these
locations. We are ready to help in any capacity within our means. We implore
the Election Board to take legal action to keep the polls open beyond their
Biggs, R-North, told the Chesterton Tribune that, to his knowledge,
eight polling places failed to open at 6 a.m., and that County Attorney
Scott McClure and Election Board Attorney David Bengs were filing a motion
before Porter Superior Judge Roger Bradford to “keep those locations open
past 6 p.m. to make up for the time they weren’t open.”
“We’re going to
have to,” Biggs said. “We have to ask a judge to order those polling
locations to have extended hours, for at least the same amount of time they
were closed. I don’t think anything else should be considered but an
Biggs added that
the motion was being filed specifically before Bradford because he is the
only Superior or Circuit court judge in the county without some kind of
conflict in today’s election.
Director of Porter County Voter Registration Kathy Kozuszek was able to
identify seven of the polling places which opened late: Liberty 3,
Westchester 13, and Portage 9, 19, 20, 25, and 31. Reasons for the tardiness
varied from no inspector on site to no polling machines, no ballots, or “no
one inside the place.”
And some polling
places which did open at 6 a.m. were “running on skeleton crews,” Kuzuszek
told the Tribune. “All Democrats or all Republicans or one of each.”
guess: in the neighborhood of “100 people were turned away this morning.”
unhestitatingly placed the blame for this morning’s foul-ups on Porter
County Clerk Karen Martin, whose office assumed jurisdiction of the election
process earlier this year after the Porter County Election Board split-voted
to relieve the Porter County Voter Registration Office of that
responsibility. “This is Karen’s fault,” she said. “If the Clerk wanted
this, she should have realized what she was taking on.”
term-limited Republican, is running this year for Porter County Auditor.
Where is Liberty 3?
Over the last 24
hours at least three different readers have contacted the Tribune to
say that the location of the Liberty 3 polling place--Liberty Township
Middle School Auditorium, 50W 900N, as listed in Monday’s edition of the
Those readers were
The actual location
of Liberty 3 is Faith Memorial Luthern Church, 753 N. Calumet Ave.
however, listed the Liberty Township Middle School Auditorium in good faith,
after finding it named on the obvious place to look: the Liberty 3 precinct
map on the Porter County Voter Registration’s website, under the “Forms &
Precinct Maps” link, where it remained uncorrected this morning.
find the correct location of Liberty 3--Faith Memorial Lutheran Church--but
they have to look for it: first google “Porter County polling places”; then
click on the top link, “Porter County, IN--Official Website--Polling
Locations”; then click on “FIND YOUR POLL LOCATION. CLICK HERE.”
In other words, the
Clerk’s Office has listed, in two different places, two different addresses
for Liberty 3.