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Voting Machines and Ballots Impounded, Judge Considering Recount Commission Members

The voting machines and ballots from the four Wayne and lone Railroad Township Precincts in the Nov. 4 General Election have been impounded to facilitate recounts in two very close races. Republican Party officials sought a recount on behalf of 4th District Council candidate Don White. He lost to Democrat Pamela Stalbaum by two votes in the race to succeed Marvin McLaughlin. That seat represents Wayne and Railroad Townships.

Incumbent Democrat Railroad Township Trustee Roger Chaffins Sr. has also filed a recount petition in his race. He lost to Republican Mandy Thompson by three votes. Continue reading

Two Recount Petitions Filed in Starke County

The fate of two contested races in the November General Election is in the hands of the Starke Circuit Court. Starke County Republican Party Chair Brenda Stanojevic filed a recount petition in the 4th District Council seat on behalf of candidate Don White. Democrat Pam Stalbaum edged him by two votes in the contest for the open seat currently held by Marvin McLaughlin. That district is comprised of the four Wayne Township precincts as well as the one in Railroad Township. Incumbent Democrat Railroad Township Trustee Roger Chaffins Sr. is also seeking a recount after losing to Republican Mandy Thompson by three votes.

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North Bend Township Polling Location to Receive HAVA Upgrade

Starke County is the recipient of a $24,000 federal grant to improve voting accessibility.

The Starke County Election Board inspects polling locations annually and determined that the North Bend Township polling location needed to meet federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) standards, according to Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski.

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School Board Candidates Can Now Submit Petitions for General Election

Candidates looking to sign up to run in the November 4th General Election for seats on the Knox Community School Board, Culver Community School Board or the Oregon-Davis School Board can do so now in the Starke County Clerk’s office.

Three seats are open on all of the school boards. Each candidate must file a petition with Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski by noon on Aug. 22 to be considered for placement on the ballot.

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Not All November Ballot Vacancies Filled

All positions on the November General Election ballot in Starke County have not been filled, but according to Clerk Evelyn Skronski, the county party chairmen have until Thursday, July 3 at noon to certify the new filings.

Skronski said a full list of candidates could be produced on Tuesday, July 8.

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Starke County Clerk Issues Same-Sex Marriage License

 The Starke County Clerk’s Office has issued its first license for a same-sex marriage. Clerk Evelyn Skronski tells WKVI news the application was made Wednesday, June 25 at 3:45 p.m. That was just a few hours after a federal judge struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage on constitutional grounds. Continue reading

Several Vacancies on Starke County November Ballot

Starke County Republican Party Chairperson, Brenda Stanojevic, has several positions to fill for the November General Election ballot.

According to Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski, the vacancies include the clerk; auditor; recorder; coroner; assessor; commissioner district 2; trustee positions in California Township, Center Township, Davis Township, Jackson Township, Oregon Township, Railroad Township and Wayne Township; plus advisory board candidates for California 1, Center 2, Davis 1, Jackson 3, North Bend 1, Oregon 2, Railroad 1, Washington 1 and Wayne 2. These positions need to be filled by noon on June 30. The only exception is the Railroad Township Trustee due to a withdrawn candidate. That vacancy needs to be filled by June 18.

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Starke County Commissioners Increase Election Meal Allowance

The Starke County Commissioners voted unanimously to increase the meal allowance for Election Day vendors from $25 to $35 per poll worker. That cost covers breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., and workers cannot leave during that time. Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski says she will need an additional $582.14 to cover the expense for the Nov. 4 General Election. She can transfer that money from her postage account. Skronski notes the council will need to consider the added cost when they craft future budgets. Municipal elections will take place next year, and 2016 is a presidential election year.

A Tie Vote in Primary Election Creates Unique Situation

The Primary Election solved several contested races, but one interesting issue came up when the votes were counted in the California Township Advisory Board race on the Republican ticket.

Three candidates were to be chosen and four candidates filed to run for that office. Steve Ahlenius received the most votes with 72 and Matt McGowan, Sr. received the second most votes with 63. The last two Republican candidates, Michele Albon and Phill Cherry, received the same number of votes at 53 which created a tie for that third candidate to be considered for a seat on the California Township Advisory Board.

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Starke County Commissioners Approve Precinct Changes

Voters who cast ballots in one Starke County precinct will do so in a new location, starting with the May 6 primary. Clerk Evelyn Skronski told the commissioners Wayne Township 4 was previously located at the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation Administration Building. School officials said it’s becoming too crowded and offered an alternative.

“They told us that we could use the atrium area at the high school,” Skronski said. “The east side has the handicapped parking and a lot of space. It’s got what we need. The only thing is we have these big, open windows that let in lots of light. That’s fine. They’re going to cover them so that candidates cannot stand out there and do whatever they do.” Continue reading

Starke County Building Corporation, Commissioners Meeting This Morning

Starke County Courthouse

Starke County Courthouse

The Starke County Building Corporation plans to appoint a committee to discuss future uses for the current jail. They are meeting this morning at 8:30 at the county annex building, prior to the commissioners meeting at 9. Skillman Corporation will also provide an update on how construction of the new jail east of Knox on State Road 8 is going. It’s scheduled for completion in the spring of 2015. The commissioners agenda includes consideration of a proposal from Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski to relocate some precincts. Officials from IU Health Starke Hospital will also discuss the physicians recruitment program. EMA Director Ted Bombagetti and James Coad are on the agenda regarding the county’s emergency preparedness plan. Wendy Elam from CADA has a proclamation for the county to declare April Child Abuse Prevention Month. CADA, CASA and the Indiana Department of Child Services are kicking off the awareness campaign tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Nancy J. Dembowski Convention Center in downtown Knox with a Pinwheels for Prevention candle lighting ceremony. Members of the public are invited to come show their support for children in the community. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place inside.

Candidate Filings for 2014 Election to Begin Soon

It won’t be long now and those choosing to run for office will be lining up at the county clerk’s office to file intentions to run for office.

Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski said the first day to file for candidacy is Jan. 8, 2014. Several offices are up for election this year in Starke County including prosecutor, auditor, sheriff, coroner, clerk, assessor, county commissioner district 2, county council districts 1-4, and Center Township assessor. The at-large and North Bend Township seats on the Culver Community School Board are open, as well as the California Township, Washington Township and Center Township Seat 1 on the Knox Community School Board and the District 1-3 seats on the Oregon-Davis School Board.

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Clerk Clarifies Deadlines, Procedures for 2014 Elections

Candidates for county-wide office in 2014 can’t officially get their names on the ballot until early next year, but they do need to let the county clerk’s office know their plans if they intend to start campaigning now. Clerk Evelyn Skronski says they just need to stop by her office in the courthouse and fill out a form in order to campaign or share their intentions with the public. That should be done immediately. However, the first day to formally file intentions of candidacy and get your name on the ballot for the primary next May is Jan. 8, 2014.

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Knox Community School Board Questions Bill for Special Election

The Knox Community School Board members last night discussed the cost of the special election held May 7.

“We just gave some information that the original bill from the clerk’s office was $21,721.60, but then it was discovered that there were some mistakes made in that bill,” explained Superintendent A.J. Gappa when discussing the board’s concerns. “Some people turned in vouchers to work on absentee balloting were being paid double for what they were supposed to get. So, the bill was reduced down to $17,732.28.”

Gappa added that there are some questions the board has concerning the estimate given to them before the election. The board was quoted $10,750 before the election and paid a $17,732 claim.

“The big difference of over $7,000 was the main question that the school board had.”

The board hopes to meet with Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski and the election board to have some of their concerns addressed.

Starke County Election Board Approves Public Question for Special Election

  The Starke County Election Board has formally approved a public question presented by the Knox Community School Board to be placed on a ballot for a special election set for May 7.

The question pertains to the proposed Knox Elementary School renovation and construction project. The Department of Local Government Finance has approved the wording of the question to be placed on the ballot and it has been certified by the Starke County auditor.

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Absentee Ballot Count Higher Than Expected In Starke, Pulaski Counties

The amount of absentee ballots already cast indicates voters are showing an interest in the Presidential, U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial races.

Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski said over 150 absentee ballots have already been filed and that form of voting has only been available since Monday! With the federal races, Skronski noted that the local races, especially the school board races, have generated a lot of interest in this General Election. She added that many voters in the North Judson area are paying particular attention to the referendum question that asks if the North Judson Town Council should expand to five members from three members.

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Voter Registration Deadline Is Tomorrow; Absentee Voting Begins Today

Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski and Pulaski County Clerk Tasha Foerg urge Hoosiers to register to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election. The last day to register is tomorrow!

You can register by going online to www.IndianaVoters.com or by visiting your county clerk’s office. If you do not register to vote, you cannot cast a ballot in this important presidential election. You have until 4 p.m. tomorrow to register, and many government offices may be closed due to the Columbus Day holiday today.

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School Board Election Deadline Approaching

Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski

The General Election is less than three months away. Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski reminds you that if you would like your name on the ballot for membership consideration on the Knox Community School Board, Oregon-Davis School Board or the Culver Community School Board, you must file your registration in the Clerk’s Office by noon CT on Friday, Aug. 24. Those names will appear on the General Election Ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Public Meeting Held Regarding Five-Member North Judson Town Board

North Judson Town Board

The public meeting regarding the transition of the North Judson Town Board from a three-member board to a five-member board was held Thursday, providing information regarding the transition to all those in attendance. Council President Wendy Hoppe and Councilman Tim Cummins were present, along with Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry, Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski, IACT Field Services Manager Tim Bredeweg, and a number of community members were present as well.

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Voter Registation Closes Today

Starke County Clerk Evelyn Skronski is in today with some important information about the upcoming Primary Election.

“Voter registration closes on April 9th at the close of business and then it doesn’t reopen until May 22nd. The first day of in-office voting also begins the 9th of April,” said Skronski.

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