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home : most recent : porter December 14, 2018


11/9/2018 5:01:00 PM
EDITORIAL: Blame to go around in Porter County election fiasco

Times of Northwest Indiana

At best, some top Porter County elections officials seem to have treated one of society's most important institutions as an afterthought.

At worst, polling places and some ballots appear to have been treated as inconsequential.

It's shameful, and both people and processes must be held accountable. 

Through it all, Porter County Clerk Karen Martin, who is supposed to be in charge, has been largely missing in action as other county officials deal with the fallout.

Now Porter County voters and political candidates are reaping the reward: An election system that appears to have been in chaos long before election night and a lack of reported results 60 hours, and counting, after election night.

Adding shameful insult to injury, Indiana Republican Party leaders actually tried to block the efforts of county officials and a judge to extend polling hours at 12 voting locations that opened several hours late Tuesday.

A number of voters faced disenfranchisement in an era when national political scandals already have eroded public trust in our elections.

The state GOP was tone-deaf and shortsighted, placing politics above voters.

One of the few positives rising from the voting fiasco in Porter County is the leadership of county commissioners.

The three county executives pushed for the later operations of the affected polling locations, giving voters who were turned away in the morning more time to vote later in the day.

When various complaints flowed in from election workers, the details of which have not been fully disclosed, the commissioners called on the FBI to investigate.

It was an important step in beginning to restore trust, or in weeding out any possible transgressions.

Commissioners Laura Blaney, a Democrat, and Jim Biggs, a Republican, have been providing particularly visible leadership in the wake of the chaos.

Commissioner Jeff Good, the Republican president of the commissioners, is on the ballot this election cycle and rightly has kept himself removed from the situation. 

But the solid leadership from commissioners aside, how did we get here to begin with?

Why are results not counted three days and counting after polls opened? Why were early and absentee ballots apparently not organized and counted timely and properly?

Who is responsible?

It will take more leadership from commissioners and other county officials to fully vet what caused this disaster and ensure it never happens again.

Porter County taxpayers deserve it — and should be demanding it. It doesn't get any more broken than what we're seeing play out in the Porter County 2018 general election.

Now who will step forth and fix it?

Related Stories:
• Porter County election results still not available
• Judge orders 12 Porter County polls to remain open later than scheduled because of late starts
• Porter County election results bring relief and anger
• Porter County finalizes troubled vote count with no changes in election results

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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