County Election Board meeting left the County without an early voting site
in Valparaiso, but the County Commissioners and County Clerk want to change
Clerk Karen Martin
told the Commissioners that state law allows for county clerks to designate
their offices to be early voting sites meaning she could arrange for early
voting to take place at the County Courthouse in downtown Valparaiso where
her office is.
“Its the only
option I have to resolve this problem for the taxpayers and voters of Porter
County,” Martin said.
require unanimous approval from the election board but the board could not
agree on establishing one at the Voters Registration Office or anywhere in
the County Administration Building.
Republican representative of the Election Board David Bengs and Martin voted
against holding voting in the Voters Registration Office because the
Democratic Director Kathy Kozuszek is on the ballot and argued that
candidates cannot be present in the polling place.
including Meeting Room 307 in the Administration bulding and the side room
of the Commissioner’s Chambers were rejected by the board’s Democratic
representative Katrina Spence.
The board did
however agree to establish Chesterton Town Hall as a satellite location and
the health department space at the North County Government Complex on
Willowcreek Rd. in Portage.
President John Evans, R-North, Tuesday said he still would like early voting
in the County Administration Building and urged the Election Board to hold a
special meeting this week to re-vote.
If not, he welcomed
Martin’s offer to have it at the Courthouse.
better than nothing, which is what we have,” Evans said.
early voting at the Courthouse would be a bit intimidating for voters
because to enter you have to pass through a metal detector, Evans said.
Voting would be on
the first floor of the Courthouse, Martin said, because she is running for
reelection on the Republican ticket and does not want to cause “an
appearance of impropriety” by having voting on the second floor where her
Blaney, D-South, agreed with the suggestions made. “We need to try to make
voting as easy as possible,” she said.
Martin said she
will contact her fellow board members to see if they can agree to an
emergency meeting by Friday. She said time is critical because early voting
is to start Tuesday, April 8.