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At Roosevelt Park Pavilion, Inspector Candice Maxwell signs in a voter

More Ways to Vote = Largest Turnout in History = Biden Wins

Contributed By:The 411 News

Early, mail-in, and Election Day choices gave voters options and they took them

Early and absentee voting are the game changers in the November 3rd election, especially results coming in from absentee voting for the 2020 presidential race.

Voters also turned to early voting and vote by mail to escape long lines at polling stations and decrease their risks of being infected by the coronavirus.

The largest ever turnout in the race for president, with close to 145 million votes cast has given former vice president Joe Biden the win, 74.8 million to President Trump's 70.5 million.

Saturday morning's results from Pennsylvania sealed the Electoral College vote count for Biden. Four days after Tuesday's election, the state's website reported it had counted 2,557,440 or 97% of the 2,633,938 absentee and mail ballots cast. Remaining to be counted were 76,498 mail ballots.

Whereas Lake County, IN took 2 days, until November 5 to count its 31,365 absentee and mail ballots.

The last votes to be tallied, Pennsylvania and other battleground state's mail-in ballots began narrowing the lead President Trump had on Election night.

The Democratic Party won 1,704,817 million of Pennsylvania's mail-in votes, followed by the Republican Party's 625,766. The remainder went to candidates in unaffiliated, Green, Libertarian, and other parties.

Election Day polling places in Lake County saw the impact of nearly 4 weeks of early voting.

In Munster's M-19 precinct at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Precinct Board Inspector Jim Kaczka said his polling station had a line of about 60 socially distanced voters when it opened at 6am. After that 1st hour rush, voting was steady without a line. "I think it's because of the early voting," Kaczka said

It was a scenario repeated at polling places in Gary. The Brunswick Park Pavilion on Clark road was the site of 4 precinct polling stations: G2-10, G2-11, G2-20, and G2-24. Inspectors reported long lines in the early hours that diminished to a steady stream of voters who didn't need to wait in line.

G2-11 Inspector Cynthia Outlar was happy about the turnout. "In the June Primary, we only had 105 voters. Now, we're at 226."

At the G5-06 precinct polling site inside Roosevelt Park Pavilion, Inspector Candice Maxwell also liked the heavy turnout. "We've had 300 voters, double the number in the June Primary."

Lake County reported a 60% voter turnout, its highest since 2008 when Barack Obama was elected president. The Biden-Trump turnout eclipsed the 2008 election.

Five states conduct elections entirely by mail – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Indiana is one of 16 states requiring voters to provide an “excuse,” stating on their mail-in vote application why they wouldn't be able to vote on Election Day.

The other 29 states and Washington, D.C., do not require an excuse from those who wish to vote absentee or by mail.

On the eve of the election, the Lake County Board of Elections reported 89% of absentee ballots mailed out had been returned. Tallying of those ballots couldn't begin until Election Day.

Indiana allows verification of the signature on the outside of the return envelope the day a mail-in ballot is received. Anyone who was missing their signature or had a signature issue on their absentee ballot received a letter giving them until November 11th to respond and submit documentation so their vote could be counted.

In Lake County, 450 voters received letters.

In Pennsylvania, signature verification could only begin at 7am on Election Day.

Lake County’s early vote count of 98,115 combined with the mail-in vote of 31,365 accounted for more than half, 58% of the county's 222,884 total votes cast.

In Munster, poll workers (seated) Brianne Oliver and Becky Bach; (standing) Jim Kaczka, Tricia Shelton, and Marsha Horak

G2-24 poll worker Chantal Newsome signs in a voter

G2-10 poll Inspector Laura McFarlin (right) and voter

Story Posted:11/07/2020

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