Update: prosecutor’s office conducting preliminary review of candidates’ allegations of improprieties

There is a dust-up between two primary election candidates and the La Porte County Election Board.

And now the La Porte County Prosecuting Attorney’s office has confirmed that it has begun a preliminary review, saying it is in the process of gaining more information before a formal investigation is launched.

Tim Gust, who sought the Democratic nomination for Indiana State Representative for District 20, said he has submitted the following written request to La Porte County Prosecutor John Lake:

“I, Tim Gust, am formally asking for an investigation into the LaPorte County, Indiana Primary Election held on June 2, 2020. After reviewing several different numbers provided by the county, there appears to be many discrepancies taking place between after the polls closed on June 2 and those of the reported number on June 4. Forty-one voting machines seemed to have disappeared, 114 extra walk in votes were somehow added after the polls had closed, and there was a point on June 3 where the number of walk in votes shown was 21,040 which then dropped to 10,577 walk in votes on June 4. Your swift action in this matter would be greatly appreciated.”

In addition, Joe Haney, Republican candidate for the third district of the county commission, said he has called for “a full and open investigation regarding multiple irregularities related to the June 3, 2020 Primary Election in LaPorte County.”

“There seem to have been multiple failures from both the Election Board and Clerk’s Office in which they not only failed to anticipate the needs of this election cycle, but also evidence a complete lack of regard for the integrity of the process,” Haney said in a prepared release. “At this point, incompetence and negligence seem to be the best case explanation for these actions, and a full and open investigation is the best way to determine if malfeasance also played any part in how the process unfolded.”

Haney said there were inconsistent vote tallies, “including the total number of votes cast, which have changed dramatically from day to day, and voting machine location discrepancies, to name a few.” He alleged that reporters were denied requests for information. “There are also issues surrounding the traveling board, including alleged failures to visit requested assisted living locations.”

Haney also claimed, among other things, that “the Commission failed to finalize polling locations by May 22, 2020 as required by state law.”

LaPorte County Election Board President Andrew Voeltz released a statement, saying that the board and the county’s election vendor, MicroVote, were answering questions about why “interim results released Wednesday night were nearly double the final results issued at the conclusion of counting on Thursday.”

Voeltz said that with the extraordinary number of absentee ballots this spring (nearly 10 times the normal amount) Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson warned that many counties “would have delayed counts and we were among a dozen or so counties that took a couple days to do this, but we tried to release interim tallies as we went along.”

“In the Election Board’s desire to be transparent and tell what we knew at various stages, we asked the county vendor to run an interim tally on Wednesday night even though there were still precincts to be counted yet on Thursday. The Wednesday 4:30 p.m. tally run by Microvote had what Microvote’s president acknowledges today was ‘higher vote totals than subsequent reports’ due to ‘a procedural human error’ by their technician,” Voeltz said.

“In other words, the prior night’s totals were ‘doubled up’ from the prior night leading to the inaccurate totals reported Wednesday. As Microvote’s president makes clear in his statement, when the ‘error was discovered, it was immediately and accurately corrected’ so that we have great confidence in the accuracy and reliability of final totals that were released on Thursday.

“We took all the way to Thursday morning to get all tallies done because we didn’t want to rush things on Tuesday with the 5,000 plus absentee ballots to be counted,” said Voeltz. “We were trying to be transparent and show progress at each stage and it’s unfortunate that the Wednesday night interim tallies caused such confusion but we are confident that having fixed the programming error, that the final day’s count is accurate and reliable.”

One Response to “Update: prosecutor’s office conducting preliminary review of candidates’ allegations of improprieties”

  1. George Bollhorst

    Jun 08. 2020

    We are all only human and can do only so much! This was and exceptional election cycle. Just like in baseball sooner or latter we have to accept the ruling of the umpires. Other options moving forward could be manual paper ballots? Days and weeks before we would know the results? Or more electronics? $$$$$$$ somebody has to decide?
    We the voters! Just have patiences!

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