Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Record expected for early voting in Porter County; lines seen out the door

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

Early voting has been “brisk” according to Kathy Kozuszek, Democrat director in the Porter County Voters Registration office.

During Friday’s county election board meeting, the board conducted a successful public test of the election equipment supplied by Elections Systems and Software. A voting machine from each township was tested to meet statutory requirements.

Outside the office stood a line of people waiting for their chance to cast their absentee ballots for early voting. Kozuszek said lines have been constant at all three early voting locations averaging 300 per day.

The first day of early voting, Oct. 9, saw a record turnout of 431 voters. Kozuszek said she expects this year’s numbers to surpass the large turnout during the last presidential election in 2008 which saw about 17,000 early ballots cast, 12,000 walk-ins and 5,000 by mail.

“We will be at that or over this year,” Kozuszek told the board.

The results come as a surprise considering the low-key turnout of about 21 percent for May’s primary election.

Republican director in the Voter’s Registration office Sundae Schoon said as of Friday 4,374 ballots had been cast and 500 have been mailed out but not yet returned.

Due to the influx of voters, the board agreed to the 3-0 motion they made last month of holding early voting at the three locations the last two Saturdays before the election, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Early voting also takes place Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Voter’s Registration Office located in Room 105 of the Porter County Administration Building, 155 Indiana Ave. in Valparaiso. The two satellite locations, the county’s North Complex in Portage, 3560 Willowcreek Road, and the Chesterton Town Hall, 790 Broadway, are open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The deadline for early voting is at noon on Monday, Nov. 5. General Election voting will then start on Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at polling places across the county.

The office also offers absentee voting by mail. Requests for ballots by mail will be taken by calling the following phone numbers: (219)465-3398, (219)465-3488, (219)465-3487.

Kozuszek said the last day to request an absentee ballot application by mail is Monday, Oct. 29. She encouraged residents not to wait until the last day to make a request in order to give the office time to process the applications.

Voting by e-mail and fax is offered to military personnel and overseas voting only, she said.

To find your polling place and check registration, voters can go to www.IndianaVoters.com

or by calling the Voters Registration office at (219)465-3635 or at (219)465-3638.

Meanwhile, the election board’s Democratic representative J. J. Stankiewicz said he will refrain from conducting business until the 2012 General Election vote is officially certified. He is husband to Nancy Vaidik who is on the county ballots to retain her office as a state appellate court judge.

 

Posted 10/22/2012