Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall has appointed a three-member recount commission to review the votes cast in two recent General Election contests. A petition seeking a recount was filed in the fourth district council race on behalf of Republican Don White, who lost to Democrat Pamela Stalbaum by two votes in the race to succeed Marvin McLaughlin. Incumbent Railroad Township Trustee Roger Chaffins, Sr. also filed a petition for a recount after losing to Republican Mandy Thompson by three votes.
Since the fourth district includes Railroad and the four Wayne Township precincts, the judge named one three-member panel to tally votes in both contests. Members include Republican Marilyn Folkers, Democrat James A. Henriott and Joe Short as the electronic voting system mechanic. They will meet Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 9 a.m. CST at the Starke County Courthouse. Each candidate affected by the recount can have one watcher present at that meeting. Members of the media are also able to attend, however the meeting is not open to the public.
All of the voting machines, tally sheets and voter lists pertaining to the recount will be secured in the courthouse safe until that meeting and will be placed back in storage after it is over.
The commission will issue a report to Judge Hall once its work is complete. He has until Dec. 20 to issue a ruling as to the outcome of both contests but can order more time should that be necessary.