Chesterton Tribune



Early voting off to slow start in Porter County

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The May 6 primary elections are less than two weeks away, and voters in Porter County have the opportunity to vote early at the Porter County Courthouse, the Chesterton Town Hall and the North County Complex in Portage.

Directors in the County Voters Registration Office Democrat Kathy Kozuszek and Republican Sundae Schoon are trying to get the word out to registered voters as they say turnout so far has been “very slow,” but that is to be expected in a primary.

Schoon said that since early voting started on Tuesday, April 8, only 55 have voted at Chesterton Town Hall, 51 have voted in Portage and 90 have voted at the Courthouse in Valparaiso.

She said the numbers are down compared to the last county elections in 2012, a presidential year. Mid-term elections usually experience the lowest turnout rates for their primaries. The previous was in 2010 with 15 percent.

Schoon said many voters are dissuaded from voting in the primaries because they have to choose a party affiliation.

Current early voting hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Kozuszek is optimistic there will be more activity when early voting is offered this Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at all three locations as well as on the following Saturday, May 3.

For those who wish to vote absentee by mail in the privacy of their home, they can request an absentee ballot by mail. They must first request an application from Porter County Voters Registration office by calling 219-465-3487 or 219-465-3488.

Once the application is processed, a ballot will be mailed to the address given.

Applications to vote absentee by mail must be received by the Porter County Voters Registration office by Monday, April 28.

Poll workers needed

Schoon also said the office still has about 80 poll worker spots which need to be filled by Election Day.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a poll worker, please call 219-465-3594 to be assigned to a Republican position or 219-465-3496 to be assigned to a Democrat position. You may also stop by the Voters Registration Office at 155 Indiana Ave., Room 105, in Valparaiso.

Poll Inspectors are paid $135 for their work and both poll judges and clerks are paid $110. Each worker will also receive a $15 meal allowance.

All poll workers must attend at least one training class. Applicants must be residents of Porter County.

The Election Board has voted to allow high school students ages 16 and over to work as poll clerks and judges.

Students must have at least a “B” grade average in order to be legible and will need written permission from their parents and school in order to participate.


Posted 4/23/2014