Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Democratic primaries: A look at Lake County, In.

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2008 at 8:15 AM

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By Ronald H.

The Democratic primary vote on Tuesday for the presidential election in Indiana and North Carolina was a significant one; an election so significant that voters came out in record numbers from both states -- many voting for the first time. Indiana had not had a meaningful Democratic primary election in four decades. But, with the huge voter turnout there were some problems.

As North Carolina's polls closed, votes were counted and the info wad sent to the media. News stations reported Sen. Barack Obama as the projected winner. Indiana's polls, however, had already closed at the same time as North Carolinas with the exception of a few northern counties on central time. Lake County is one of those counties with a large minority population and in close proximity to Obama's hometown of Chicago. With most of the national media waiting for the votes to come from Indiana possibly before the nightly news was broadcast, Senator Clinton wasn't declared winner of Indiana until about 5 a.m. "We just waited and waited and nothing ever came in until very late ant night," said one reporter from the Post Tribune, a daily newspaper in Northwest Indiana.

During a statement made Wednesday, Lake county election officials said that about 11,000 absentee ballots were being counted while the majority of the regular ballots that were tallied electronically had not been sent in yet. Since absentee ballots had to be counted and checked for accuracy this process was much longer. Then after feeling pressure by the nation watching and news outlets growing weary, the county then started sending in votes. Many residents have said that Lake County "has always been late" sending election results.

With more than 90 percent of the vote not being counted first, there may be questions of how effective votes are counted in Lake County during big elections like this one.

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