CHICAGO (CBS)–Plagued by a long list of Election Day problems, commissioners in Porter County, Indiana have asked the FBI to investigate what’s been described as “scores of alleged violations in Indiana Election Law” following Tuesday’s elections.
Two days after the election, Porter County has released no election results. Officials started counting votes on Wednesday morning–more than 15 hours after the polls closed.
The delays were holding up final election results in three legislative races.
As of Thursday afternoon, there was no word about whether an official investigation would be launched.
Porter County voters on Thursday heard from two of the three members of the Election Board, but Porter County Clerk Karen Martin hadn’t appeared in public since the election until Thursday, when she finally showed up for an Election Board briefing at an administrative building.
Martin didn’t speak, however. Instead, she was photographed hiding from cameras behind an unnamed man.
Voters are demanding answers about what went awry, and are upset about the delay, including Gilles Charriere of Valparaiso.
“I’m (slightly) offended that I’m being told, ‘oh don’t worry–they’re being counted’–theres not much of an apology,” Charriere said.
Election results may not arrive until Friday, however.
“Locally, at home, it’s just we’ve never seen anything like this,” voter Jeff Gorgan of Hebron said.
Officials on Thursday said Martin was still unavailable for comment. There’s no explanation for why she appeared in public, but hid behind the unknown man.
“So far we have gotten no explanation,” said poll worker Drew Wenger of the Valparaiso Democratic Committee, which released a statement Thursday detailing what was described as “electoral injustices” that occurred.
The statement reads,” The incompetence seen in the months before the election manifested problems heretofore unseen in Porter County on the day of the election. Thirteen polling locations were not fully staffed and could not open until an hour after their mandated opening time, resulting in many voters becoming frustrated and forgoing voting altogether. As Election Day continued, it became clear that most polling locations were not going to receive their absentee ballots by the 6 p.m. closing time, leading to much confusion. The Porter County Clerk’s office was unreachable by phone, forcing many precinct inspectors to make the call to pack up before properly counting the early votes into the total precinct results.”
Coincidentally, Martin was also running for County Auditor during this election, but since the results are still unknown, it’s unclear whether she won.
“Maybe I would be hiding, too, if I were in her shoes and the way it’s been going,” Charriere said.