Starke County Election Board Member Questions Board’s Authority to Cut Its Own Pay

The Starke County Election Board’s authority to withhold its own pay is being questioned by one of its members. On Monday, the board voted two-to-one not to pay its members for 2020, if the board failed to approve a vote center plan to keep this year’s elections on-budget. Board Member Harrison Fields cast the opposing vote.

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North Judson Town Council Discusses Potential Change to Election Cycle

A bill for almost $11,000 has prompted the North Judson Town Council to consider changing the town’s election cycle. The bill for last November’s town election was eventually forgiven by the Starke County Council, but during Monday’s town council meeting, Council Member Josh Brown said the county might not be willing to do that in the future.

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Starke County Election Board Makes Members’ Pay Contingent on Switch to Vote Centers

Starke County Election Board Member Harrison Fields (right) voices concern with the meeting notice he received from Board President Marcia Bedrock (left), during Monday’s board meeting.

The Starke County Election Board will make a fourth attempt at approving a vote center plan. It once again failed to get the required unanimous vote during a special meeting Monday. Board Member Harrison Fields again cast the opposing vote.

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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.