MICHIGAN CITY – Three days after Indiana's general election, two of La Porte County's Statehouse candidates officially won their races on Friday.
Porter County officials released their vote totals Friday afternoon, after days of confusion, anger and finger-pointing, which also saw the FBI called in to investigate complaints of election fraud.
The delay held up results in the Senate District 4 and House District 9 legislative races because those districts include precincts in both La Porte and Porter counties. And while both candidates had comfortable leads after vote totals were released, neither wanted to proclaim victory prematurely.
When the Porter County totals finally came out, Michigan City Common Council member Patricia Boy won easily over Republican challenger Dan Granquist.
Boy already had a 10,512-6,169 lead after La Porte County totals were released Tuesday night. In Porter County, Boy again beat Granquist, 2,562-2,460 for a final margin of victory of 13,074-8,629. That's just about 60 percent of the vote going to Boy and 40 percent to Granquist.
In the Senate race, incumbent Democrat Karen Tallian of Beverly Shores also handily won her race over Republican challenger Cole Stultz.
In La Porte County, Tallian received 7,653 votes to 4,365 for Stultz; and in Porter County, she outpolled her opponent 18,981-13,121. That meant a final victory total of 26,634-17,486, again a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent.
"I can't believe it took three full days to count the ballots for Porter County," Boy said Friday night. "There was definitely an issue with the process there. It didn't look good for one of the persons in charge of the election to also be on the ballot."
But, she added, "The problems that arose could not all have been caused by the leadership. Add to that the huge turnout, and things probably escalated. I question why they needed a judge to order the affected polls to remain open the full 12 hours."
As for her win, Boy said she is already getting prepared.
"I was in Indy on Wednesday ... It was a caucus to elect party leadership and meet some of the people who we will work with. We have orientation and training for newly elected officials next week, then organization day the following week (Nov. 20) when we will be sworn in."
She thanked Granquist "for a race based on the issues. I won't campaign any other way, and I'm grateful that he wouldn't either."