No outcomes were
changed and no turnout records were broken in the official count of Porter
County’s 2016 primary election vote.
As required by
state law, the County Election Board on Friday counted military and overseas
ballots as well as provisional ballots that met the requirements to be
accepted ten days after election for the final vote tallies.
There were 58
additional ballots counted in the official results compared to the results
posted on Election Night, 57 of which were provisional ballots. The grand
total is 49,513 ballots cast -- 26,425 Republican and 23,088 Democrat -- for
a voter turnout of 39.83 percent.
The votes were
certified 3-0 by the County Election Board.
of the Voters Registration Office Kathy Kozuszek said her hope was to see an
over 40 percent turnout for the County this year, although its much larger
than the 2012 presidential election that saw 21.3 percent turnout in the
primaries. The 2008 primaries however saw a record 41.46 percent turnout
Board member said he’s sad to see that “more than half of the voters stayed
home” this election.
have been an issue that election boards in the state and state legislators
are trying to improve. Indiana has one of the lowest voter turnouts on
average in the nation.
The new tally did
not affect the outcome of any races, a notable difference from the final
counts of the 2015 general elections that saw two tie votes in races for the
Chesterton Town Council and Beverly Shores Town Council as provisional
ballots were counted.
“We weren’t biting
our nails this time waiting to see if anything was going to change,”
are issued when a voter forgets to bring their government-issued ID with
them or if their name in the poll book is highlighted for needing more
information, Kozuszek said.
If the voter can
show the proper documentation to the voters registration office up to 10
days after the election, their ballot gets counted.
certification process, Stakiewicz said he would ask that the vendor,
Election Systems & Software, do a better job color coding the ballots by
party and have more testing of the equipment before its goes out.
He also asked if
more should be done about the fact that the voter count made by poll workers
and the total number of ballots did not match in 40 percent of the
precincts. Election workers were working past 11 p.m. on Election Night to
work out the disparities.
President and Republican member David Bengs agreed there need to be
improvements and it will be something to work on before the fall election.
“We all hope it
will get better,” he said.
Voters asked to
register by deadline
told the Chesterton Tribune about other difficulties on Election Day.
She said this election was “the worst (she’s) seen” with callers “jamming
up” the phone lines asking where to vote or asking how they can register to
vote, even within five minutes before the polls closed.
The office tries to
keep its main phone lines open for election workers with questions. There
are separate numbers voters are asked to call on Election Day to find their
polling location. Kozuszek said they can also check at IndianaVoters.com or
on the County’s GIS website.
Kozuszek said her
best advice would be for voters to call the voters registration office ahead
of Election Day.
“That way they know
their vote will count,” she said. “Just go ahead and call us.”
As for registering
to vote, the state closed registrations for the primary election on April 4.
Registration opens up on Tuesday, May 17 but Kozuszek said people can still
complete and hand in forms at the voters registration office, 155 Indiana
Ave. in Valparaiso, Suite 105.
registration office is keeping a pile of forms ready.
register by Oct.11 to vote in the 2016 general election
With the primaries
over, local party chairs can fill ballot vacancies between now and July 5
for the November General Election.
The two vacancies
for local county races are the Republican candidate slots for South District
County Commissioner and Porter County Superior Court 3 Judge.
The fall election
will have more races with the addition of school board representatives.
In Duneland, there
will be two seats up this year -- the Jackson Twp. representative and one
at-large seat. The current seatholders are Kristin Kroeger and John
The first day
candidates may file petitions for school board is July 27 with the last day
being Aug. 26.