Election Board resolves double-voting case
By Kitty Conley firstname.lastname@example.org August 27, 2013 12:38PM
Updated: August 27, 2013 12:38PM
CROWN POINT — People of the area have heard the phrase said about elections in Lake County. Vote early and vote often.
But the system doesn’t allow that. It kicked out a numbered ballot that was cast in-person during early voting during the May 2013 special election in Munster.
Denise M. Witczak voted twice. She voted once on the Saturday before Election Day and once again on Election Day. The Lake County Election Board gave an official reprimand to the Munster woman for voting twice. They did not find any evidence she acted fraudulently. If they had they would have had to send this case to the Lake County Prosecutor to bring charges against the woman for attempted voter fraud.
Witczak told the she had forgotten that she had gone in and voted on the Saturday before Election Day.
The system has been put into place that when a vote in-person or mail-in absentee ballot can be counted the poll books have to be marked as previously voted. Workers get their poll books the Saturday before the election.
Therefore when someone arrives at the Election Day polling place that person’s name will show already voted, according to Michelle Fajman, director of the Lake County Board of Elections and Registration.
As Fajman explained, as the envelopes or code number on the in-person election machine can be added into the final vote, the poll books are checked. If that poll book shows that a person voted election day then the office staff under the watchful eyes of both Democratic and Republican members, remove the envelope or the code number of the before election day vote.
This was about the special election held on May 7 to vote for or against a referendum to raise taxes to supplement property tax revenues for school needs. The vote was 3,689 in favor and 1,991 against the referendum. Taxes were raised.