Lake election officials shuffle precinct lines

2013-06-18T22:16:00Z 2013-06-19T11:31:06Z Lake election officials shuffle precinct linesBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | Lake election officials voted Tuesday to eliminate nine old voting precincts and add four new ones across the county.

Michelle Fajman, county elections director, said the move is part of a periodic realignment of precinct boundaries.

She said officials split up precincts in which more than 1,200 registered voters reside to ensure lines of voters aren't too long on election day. They also combined precincts with too few voters to reduce the number of voting machines and poll workers needed for elections.

If state election officials approve the changes, the total number of precincts in Lake County will drop to 525 from 530.

The Election Board staff said they recently have collected $3,190 in fines from several politicians who previously failed to make public their campaign donations and expenditures on a timely basis.

They are prepared to sue about 30 others still owing more than $20,000 in fines dating back to the late 1990s for campaign finance violations.

The board also hired David Wickland as legal counsel for the two Republicans on the bi-partisan five-member county elections board.

Wickland, a Munster attorney who has been practicing law for 38 years, also has served on the Lake County Property Tax Board of Appeals for more than a dozen years.

Wickland replaces Jeff Gunning, who was Republican legal adviser for the past two years under former GOP county Chairwoman Kim Krull. Elections attorneys serve at the pleasure of their party chairmen. Dan Dernulc became the new GOP county chairman this spring.

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