Critical Indiana Voting Issue Still Unsettled

Court battle continues over NW Indiana's early voting

The early voting controversey continues in Northwest Indiana today, after the Indiana Supreme Court sent the case back to the Superior Court in East Chicago and gave each side the right to choose a new judge to hear their arguments.

An attorney for labor unions and Democrats made that request of the judge who will decide whether satellite early voting centers can stay open in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago.

Now each side has until 3 p.m. to pick one of three Superior Court judges. If parties can't agree on a special judge by Wednesday afternoon, the Supreme Court will choose one.

That judge will then set the date, time and place for a new hearing, which could be as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

In the meantime, early voting at three satellite courthouse locations continues.

On Tuesday -- the first day early voting was allowed after a protracted fight -- there were a total of 488 votes cast. Since polls did not get up and operating until 1 p.m. at the earliest, there were only three hours during which to vote, if that.

The early vote total for the first day of the Indiana Primary was 298. So, Tuesday, with only a half day of voting and only word of mouth to let people know the polls were finally open, almost twice as many people made it out to cast their ballots.

Heavily Democratic Lake County is considered key to Barack Obama's chances of winning Indiana's electoral votes.

Republican members of Lake County's election board oppose the satellite centers, saying they increase the chance of vote fraud.


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