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Precinct shuffle spurs 2nd notice

Some votes were tossed over mix-up

More than a few people showed up at the wrong polling place during the primary election, prompting officials to agree a second mailing before November’s election is needed.

Members of the Allen County Election Board agreed Friday that another notice should be sent in light of some confusion after this year’s reorganization of polling sites. The changes affected 161 precincts and about 47 percent of the county’s 275,000 registered voters.

Only about 12 percent of voters turned out for the primary, which consisted of predominantly Republican races, but disgruntled voters did have the opportunity to provide feedback.

Voter survey cards were available at the polling sites, and about 75 cards were returned.

“Most were pretty negative and referred to a lack of notification,” said Beth Dlug, director of elections

“And, there were probably more who did not fill out the survey cards,” she added.

“We did have a few that said they liked their new site, but only a few,” Dlug said.

Board members reviewed 41 provisional votes, declaring seven valid and 33 invalid; one was tabled pending further investigation of the voter’s identification.

Twenty of the invalid votes were made by people who showed up at the wrong precinct. After being advised by poll workers of the mistake, the voters decided not to travel to their correct precincts and instead, voted by provisional ballot, even though they were told it could be disqualified.

Six provisional ballots were due to people voting despite not being registered to vote; the rest were ruled invalid for a variety of other reasons, including some who had moved out of the county, and some who showed up after the polls closed at 6 p.m. insisted on voting.

Prior to the May election, the public was notified by postcard as well as through neighborhood associations, schools, real estate and apartment associations, churches and advertising on city buses.

“I don’t know what more we can do,” Dlug said. “We still had people who said they were not notified.”

In other business, the board reviewed campaign finance reports, assessing fees for 11 people who filed after the deadline of noon on April 21.

Only two of the 11 who were fined for tardy filing showed up at the hearing – Adams Township Trustee Brian Yoh, who was running for re-election, and David Roach, who was unopposed on the Democratic side of the race for county sheriff.

Yoh, who said he had a family emergency, was fined $50, the fee for elected officials, and Roach was fined $25, the fee for people who don’t hold office.

Others who were assessed $50 fines included Springfield Township Trustee Bruce Amstutz; Grabill Council member Candace Decamp; County Auditor Tera Klutz; Aboite Township Trustee Barbara J. Krisher.

Also fined $50 were Lafayette Township Trustee Patrick Lee; Milan Township Trustee Chad MacDowell; and County Council candidate Gary Washington, who was fined $50 because he was two days late.

Most were one day or a few hours late.

Other candidates fined $25 included Joe “Fluoride Man” Renner and Joel Benz.

vsade@jg.net

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