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Porter County Council District 1

Democrat and former Porter County Council member Bob Poparad, left, is running against Republican and Council President Andy Bozak, right, in District 1.

VALPARAISO — After days of waiting for the results, candidates in the District 1 Porter County Council race are still in limbo.

Unofficial election results have Democrat Bob Poparad 15 votes ahead of incumbent Republican Andy Bozak.

County election officials confirmed there are 250 provisional votes yet to be counted. The majority are likely from polls which were court-ordered to stay open past 6 p.m. due to opening late. Another portion are from the Oct. 27 incident at the Portage early polling location where poll workers failed to sign ballots.

Provisional votes can be cast for other reasons as well, said Valerie Warycha, communications director and deputy chief of staff for the Indiana secretary of state's office, which oversees elections. Other reasons include identification or residency disputes.

Warycha said there is a lot of local rule involved in the handling of provisional ballots. However, the local election board must meet by noon 10 days after the election to consider the ballots and must report those results to her office by 3 p.m. This year, the certification meeting will be held Nov. 16. 

During the meeting, board members must determine whether or not to certify each of the provisional votes before that vote is counted, she said.

Poparad said Friday he would withhold any comments on the race until all the votes have been counted.

"It is obviously a blow to see it that close," Bozak said, adding of the 12 polls that remained open past 6 p.m., three are within the council's 1st District. He added that some of the ballots in question from the Oct. 27 incident may also contain votes from his district.

"There were so many irregularities in this election," said Bozak said. "Who knows what will happen after these are counted," adding if the totals are still close next week after the provisional ballots are counted, he will make a decision then as whether or not he will seek a recount.

Bozak added that win or lose, he is "humbled" that more than 9,000 people voted for him and "no matter what happens, I'll be back."

There were also elections in three other County Council districts.

District 2 incumbent Democrat Jeremy Rivas was unopposed in his bid for re-election.

In the District 3 race, Democrat Greg Simms won over Republican Mark Hoffman. The seat had previously been held by Republican Karen Conover.

In the District 4 race, incumbent Republican Mike Jessen defeated Democrat Susie Talevski.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.