(La Porte County, IN) - More than four hours passed before any vote totals in La Porte County were released last night.
Typically, vote totals start being released by precinct early in the counting, giving the public a running total to gauge how the candidates are doing in their races throughout the night. However, last night, no totals were released until all of the votes countywide were tallied, which upset candidates and their supporters wanting to know how the races were shaping up.
La Porte County Election Board Chairman Nelson Pichardo said errors in the vote-counting two years ago were later corrected. However, a majority of election board members did not want to take a chance of making the same mistake. The Election Board comprises Republican Chuck Watterson, Democrat Nelson Pichardo, and LaPorte County Clerk Heather Stevens.
“We believe that folks deserve accurate information in a reasonable amount of time instead of wrong numbers rushed, so that’s the decision that we made,” Pichardo said.
Pichardo said the counting errors in 2020, despite being corrected, angered many people, and rightly so. However, he largely blamed bugs in the system for the fixed inaccuracies once caught.
This year, the LaPorte County Clerk, Heather Stevens, added electronic poll books. Since they were utilized for the first time last night, the Election Board decided to be extra careful, so the counting was accurate before all votes were released.
The vote totals from all precincts in the county were released at about 10 p.m.