How the first Porter County election with new electronic poll books went depends on who’s asked. From the standpoint of Kathy Kozuszek, Democratic representative in the county’s Voter Registration Office and a member by proxy of the county’s election board, the equipment was rife with glitches and errors during Tuesday’s primary, something she’s raised red flags about for some time now. As David Bengs, a Republican who’s president of the election board, sees it, there were some problems but overall, the feedback he received from poll workers was that they liked the equipment, which has been steeped in controversy.
The Porter County Council last week denied a funding transfer for $40,000, the first of three annual payments to help pay for the poll books, because contracts for them had not gone before the Board of Commissioners first.
Commissioners were split in approving the contracts the next day, though the county’s election board already had the equipment on hand.
Ballot counting didn’t wrap up until 11 p.m. on election night, Kozuszek said, which is unheard of for a municipal election that featured a handful of contested races in Portage, Chesterton, Porter and Hebron, and school referendums in Valparaiso.