Lake County commissioner vote recount reaches third day

2012-06-27T15:36:00Z Lake County commissioner vote recount reaches third dayBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | The 3rd District Lake County commissioner recount moved Wednesday from machine to paper balloting.

The court-appointed, three-member recount commission finished inspecting 374 electronic voting machines used to tally votes cast in the Democratic primary for the race between North Township Board member Richard J. Novak and County Councilman Michael Repay.

Novak is challenging the declaration of Repay as the official winner by 74 votes.

Election officials, the candidates and their representatives moved from the voting machine garage on the first floor of the Lake County Government Complex to the second-floor elections board office, where the recount panel began going through 1,121 paper absentee ballots that were filled out in the weeks before the May election.

James Wieser, an attorney for the elections board, said that process could continue into Thursday.

If the count is completed and Novak remains behind in the vote totals, his attorney could present legal arguments at a hearing beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday about whether voting irregularities call into doubt the election's validity.

The recount has uncovered a number of votes that were cast several minutes before the polls opened at 6 a.m. May 8 or after they closed at 6 p.m. that day. Novak could contest the election on that or other grounds.

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