Soliday: New law will improve Porter County elections

Posted by: Jessica Bruder  | Wednesday, May 8, 2019

STATEHOUSE (May 8, 2019) – Legislation authored by State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) improving efficiency and accountability in Porter County elections was recently signed into law by the governor.

The new law increases the number of officials on the Porter County Election Board from three to five, ensures all absentee and early voting ballots will be counted at a central location, and makes all election employees subject to the rules in the county employee policy manual.

“The problems experienced during the 2018 Porter County election were an injustice to voters,” Soliday said. “These issues could have been avoided. By changing the structure of the board and ensuring early voting ballots are counted in a central location, we can help prevent last year’s chaos from happening again.”

Soliday said under the law, the election board’s director and assistant director will be chosen by the county clerk and must be from different political parties. Currently, the director is appointed by the county chair of the political party whose nominee for secretary of state won the popular vote in the county during the last election, and the assistant director is appointed by the county chair whose nominee received the second highest number of votes.

After reviewing the issues that emerged in the 2018 Porter County election, Soliday worked with local officials from both parties and the secretary of state’s office on potential solutions. He said those discussions resulted in this law.

House Enrolled Act 1217 goes into effect July 1. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.

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State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) represents House
District 4, which includes a portion of Porter County. 
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 here for a high-resolution photo.