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Monday, October 13, 2008

Ind. Decisions - Status of: Remote voting sites at issue in Lake County [Updated]

Updating the most recent ILB entry, from Saturday, where U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen was quoted by two papers as "promising to announce his decision Monday, so the voting sites could open Tuesday if he does not grant the restraining order," a just-posted "Breaking News" report on the Gary Post-Tribune website states:

Federal Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen ruled this afternoon that he does not have jurisdiction to decide over request by Lake County Republicans that he stop satellite voting centers from opening in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago. He ordered it remanded to Lake Superior Court, where Judge Calvin Hawkins initially granted the Republican Party's temporary restraining order Oct. 3.
It looks to the ILB like this entry from Oct. 7 (without the federal court) gives a good description of the current status.

[Update at 4:23 PM] Bill Dolan of the NWI Times has a comprehensive story here. Some quotes:

HAMMOND | A federal judge has transferred a decision on whether to open early voting centers in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago back to Lake Superior Court.

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen ruled Monday county judges should decide whether an Indiana law requiring unanimous bipartisan support of a county's elections board to open multiple locations for voting before the Nov. 4 general election violates the Indiana Constitution.

The Lake County elections board has voted by majority to open the early centers. However, the vote was not unanimous, with both GOP elections board members dissenting.

It was unclear Monday whether elections board Director Sally LaSota would open early voting centers tomorrow in the county courthouses at 15 W. 4th Ave., Gary; 232 Russell St., Hammond; and 3711 Main St., East Chicago.

Superior Court Judge Calvin Hawkins ordered early polling at those locations halted last week under a temporary restraining order requested by county Republicans. Lake Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Arredondo ruled separately to open the centers. Meanwhile, Lake County Democrats, who advocate opening the early voting centers, took the case to Van Bokkelen's federal court in Hammond.

Following Van Bokkelen's ruling Monday, Hawkins set a new hearing date for 1 p.m. Tuesday in his East Chicago courtroom.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 13, 2008 04:00 PM
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