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Special judge: Keep early-voting sites open

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A special judge has ordered satellite early-voting sites in East Chicago, Gary, and Hammond to remain open over the objections of two Lake County Republicans.

Lake Superior Judge Diane Kavadias Schneider issued the order this afternoon in the consolidated cases of State of Indiana, ex rel. John B. Curley, et al. v. Lake County Board of Elections and Registration, and Hon. Thomas Philpot as Lake County Clerk, et al., No. 45D02-0810-PL-190, and United Steel Workers District 7, et al. v. Lake County Board of Elections and Registration, No. 45C01-0810-PL-256.

Republicans John Curley and Jim Brown challenged the opening of satellite early-voting offices in Lake County, citing potential voter fraud and the election board's lack of a unanimous decision in voting to open the sites. The United Steel Workers District 7 and other plaintiffs brought their suit to keep the locations open.

The Lake County Board of Elections and Registration was split 3-2 down party lines in their vote to open the satellite locations; the Democrats believed their majority vote allowed the locations to operate.

Indiana Code Section 3-11-10-26.3 requires a county election board to unanimously vote to establish satellite offices in the county, and under that statute, the location and operating hours must be included. The election board's order just included the location of the offices, not the hours of operation.

Despite these deficiencies in the Lake County Board of Elections and Registration's establishment of the satellite early-voting sites, Judge Schneider ruled to keep the sites open. She cited caselaw supporting that in the absence of fraud, election statutes are generally liberally construed to guarantee voters the opportunity to vote.

To stop early voting in Lake County on the basis of "an alleged technical irregularity" would contravene the purpose of election laws, wrote the judge, and the failure to establish these satellite early-voting locations could violate the U.S. Constitution by making it more difficult for some people of Lake County to cast their vote early.

Judge Schneider was appointed special judge in this consolidated case by the Indiana Supreme Court Oct. 16 after the parties failed to select a special judge by the prescribed deadline set by the high court.

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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