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Contact: Jen Fanger
Indianapolis, IN (May 8) -- Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita is spending the day monitoring Municipal Primaries throughout the state -- giving close attention to Lake, Wayne, Tippecanoe, and Marion Counties.
Wayne County is the first in Indiana to pilot the Vote Center concept -- a new election model that allows voters to vote at the centralized polling place of their choice rather than being bound by the traditional precinct-based process. Late in the afternoon, Wayne County officials are reporting a successful election with higher than usual turnout, and requiring 80% fewer poll workers than in past comparable elections.
Rokita and eight deputies monitored polling places in East Chicago and Gary today in order to instill voter confidence in-light of a documented history of vote fraud in Lake County. They began when the polls opened this morning and continued throughout the day, observing 110 polling places total. By early evening, all teams had observed only minor, correctable problems, and overall efficient elections.
In response to reports that more than 170 of Marion County's poll inspectors failed to open polling places on time this morning, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita is urging voters to continue to cast their ballots throughout the day. Under Indiana law, the responsibility to recruit and train poll workers lies with local political parties and county election administrators.
"The errors in Marion County are serious, and unfortunate, but I encourage voters to be persistent in exercising their right to vote before the polls close this evening, " said Rokita. "This situation underscores the need for consolidation and modernization in the way we vote, and I am looking to the Richmond, Indiana Vote Center Pilot as an example of innovation that could make the burden of staffing polling places a thing of the past "
The Hoosier Voter Helpline, 1-866-IN-1-VOTE, is staffed by employees of the Secretary of State's office and will remain open until polls close. IndianaVoters.com is also available for Hoosiers to check polling place locations. At 4:00 p.m. today, more than 7,500 searches were logged from the site.
"Indiana's poll workers deserve praise for a job well done," said Rokita. "Nearly all of the counties in Indiana holding Primaries today have experienced smooth elections, and that only happens when poll workers are committed to running fair, accurate elections. "