Porter County still has no official election results in one of the most contentious elections in recent memory
November 7, 2018-The Gazette has confirmed that Porter County Commissioners will ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into alleged impropreties in Tuesday’s election. We spoke with Commissioner Jim Biggs confirmed that officials had asked the FBI to look into widespread complaints but declined to comment further. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about an ongoing investigation” Biggs stated.
Porter County election officials have not yet released results after allegations of errors with voting machines and the mishandling of early voting (in person absentee) and absentee ballots. Marie Siroky of Portage explained that she went to vote on Friday and was told to cast a paper ballot. “They counted how many people took ballots but no one was counting how many ballots were put in the bag” Siroky explained. Several hundred ballots were allegedly not counted due to faulty machines and people were called to vote again. Asking someone to vote twice may, in itself, be a crime even if the negligence or incompetence of election officials caused the error. Asked if she would trust the outcome of the elections, Siroky responded “No.”
According to a source with whom we spoke, the problems began when Porter County Republican Party Officials took control of running the polls from the bi-partisan voter registration office and handed the duties over to Clerk Karen Martin. Martin was a candidate for County Auditor yet still ran the election process along with J.J. Stankiewicz, a Democrat, and Board President David Bengs. Officials are counting votes as we speak but there will be no way to trust the integrity of the process after many votes were not counted and others were not properly handled.