CROWN POINT | Early voting has begun slowly in Lake County.
Elections officials said 474 people have voted by Friday by absentee paper ballots or in-person at nine locations around Lake County.
They are hoping to improve voter turnout this year by opening additional satellite locations at the Wicker Memorial Park Social Center, 8554 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, Lowell Town Hall, 501 E. Main St., Lowell, and Munster Town Hall, 1005 Ridge Road, this year.
But so far only 35 people have used the three new venues since the county opened in-person voting Tuesday.
They reported 76 ballots at the county election board's office in the administration building of the Lake County Government Complex, 2293 N. Main St.; 34 at the Gary Public Safety Facility, 555 Polk St., Gary; 25 at the Hammond County Courthouse, 232 Russell St., Hammond.
Sixteen voters went to the Lorenzo Arredondo Justice Center, 3711 Main St., East Chicago; 15 to the St. John Township assessor's office, 9157 Wicker Ave., St. John, and 15 at the Winfield Township trustee's office, 10645 Randolph St., Winfield.
Lake officials have received 258 absentee paper ballots since March 25.
Voting will resume from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the election board's Crown Point office and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the eight other satellite locations in Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, Highland, Lowell, Munster, St. John and Winfield this week.
County offices are closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.
Voting continues from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Fridays in Crown Point and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the satellite locations until May 2. The Crown Point office also will be open for early voting from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the satellite locations Saturdays April 26 and May 3.
The final day for early voting is 8:30 a.m. to noon in Crown Point and 9 a.m. to noon at the satellite offices May 5. Election day is May 6.