Races Heating Up As Candidate Filing Enters Final Week

Candidate filing for the May primary heads into its final week. The race for Starke County Council is starting to heat up, with four Republicans filed for the three available at-large seats. They include Don Binkley, Sam Byer, Todd Lienbach, and incumbent Kay Gudeman. Voters will have to narrow that list down to three during the primary. As it currently stands, the winners would face Democrats Chuck Estok and Karl Swihart in November.

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Starke County Election Board to Meet Today

The Starke County Election Board members will attempt to vote on the Vote Center plan for the third time today. 

The Vote Center Plan would move the county from the current status of precinct polling sites to Vote Center sites.  The move to a Vote Center county would allow any eligible voter the chance to vote at any of the seven Vote Centers proposed in the draft plan.  They would be located at Koontz Lake Property Owners Building, Hamlet Fire James R. Hardesty Community Building, Washington Township Community Building, Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox, North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Department, San Pierre Fire Department, and the Bass Lake-California Township Fire Department on Election Day.

The Koontz Lake Association Building and the North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library are two proposed sites for early voting.  They would be open Monday through Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Clerk Bernadette Welter-Manuel noted that the only thing that needs to be decided is which site will be open during which of the two weeks prior to Election Day.

Past meetings have shown an overwhelming positive public response to the change to Vote Centers, but the Vote Center Plan has failed twice to gather a unanimous vote by the Starke County Election Board.  A third vote is planned today. 

The Starke County Election Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. today in the ground floor meeting room in the Starke County Annex No. 1 Building at 53 E. Mound Street in Knox.