October Candidate Forums! Valparaiso At-Large City Council and Mayor, Portage Mayor

The Porter County League of Women Voters, in partnership with the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Portage City of Commerce, and Lakeshore Public Radio, will be hosting and moderating the Mayoral and At-Large City Council Candidate Forums in October. Questions will be fielded from audience submissions.

Valparaiso At-Large City Council Candidate Forum:
October 2nd, doors open at 6:30pm
Memorial Opera House
104 Indiana Ave.

Valparaiso Mayor Candidate Forum:
October 9th, doors open at 6:30pm
Memorial Opera House
104 Indiana Ave.

Portage Mayor Candidate Forum:
October 14th, doors open at 6:30pm
Oakland Hall in Woodland Park
2100 Willocreek Rd.

Redistricting….what is it… and why is it so important in Indiana?

NEXT Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 PM, Healthlinc, 1001 N. Sturdy Road, Valparaiso, IN.

We would love to see all of our members and friends reserve their free tickets at:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-is-redistricting-tickets-61476088636?aff=ebdshpsearchautocomplete

The League of Women Voters of Porter County will sponsor a presentation on redistricting by Julia Vaughn, Policy Director for Common Cause Indiana.

Ms. Vaughn will be discussing why redistricting in Indiana is so important. She will also present what kind of reform would be optimal, as well as, the past and future efforts of the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting to pass reform at the state legislature. She will also discuss how we can impact the redistricting process in 2021 if the General Assembly does not pass reform legislation.

Common Cause Indiana works to ensure that every citizen has a vote and a say in government. They believe government should serve public, not private interests.

This is a free event; however, as mentioned above, we request that you reserve your spot by clicking on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-is-redistricting-tickets-61476088636?aff=ebdshpsearchautocomplete so we can set up for the proper amount of attendees.

Event will begin promptly at 6:30 PM. We look forward to seeing you there!


Early voting began April 9th at 8:30 AM and ends at Noon on Monday, May 6th.

Early Voting Sites will be open on weekdays
Monday Through Friday from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM…
and weekends
Saturday, April 27th & Saturday, May 4th ONLY
8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Early Voting, also known as absentee voting in person, is available to Porter County registered voters. Early voting dates, times and locations are listed below.

IMPORTANT: When you come to early vote, please be sure to bring your valid Indiana Drivers License or State Identification Card.

Early Voting Locations

For your convenience, there are four early voting locations. Eligible voters can vote at any of these locations.

Porter County Administration Center
155 Indiana Avenue, Suite 102A
Valparaiso IN 46383

North County Government Complex
3560 Willowcreek Road
Portage IN 46368

Chesterton Town Hall
790 Broadway
Chesterton IN 46304

Hebron Community Center
611 N Main St
Hebron IN 46341

Note: If you are unable to vote at any of the Early Voting locations, you may be eligible to cast your vote by absentee ballot. To learn more, please CLICK the Link Below for More Information about Other Absentee Voting Options!

Jessica Bailey Explains the New Porter County Elections

Porter County elections made national news in 2018. Jessica Bailey, our new Porter County Clerk, explains the improvements that have been initiated to make 2019 a successful election year.

Join us on April 17th from 6:30 til 8:30 at HealthLinc, 1001 N. Sturdy Road, Valparaiso, IN 46383. Doors will open at 6:00 PM.

Please go to Eventbrite to reserve your spot…

SB105 Amendments Fail, Bill moves on

From All In For Democracy:

On Monday afternoon Senator Greg Walker called SB105 down for its 2nd reading.  Democrat Senator Tim Lanane offered an amendment to add language creating a citizens redistricting commission but it failed on a 31-11 vote.  Democrat Senator J.D. Ford offered an amendment that had also been filed by Republican Senator Ron Alting to add criteria forbidding partisan gerrymandering and to provide better public access to the redistricting process – that amendment failed by a 36-13 vote.  Although we are disappointed these positive amendments weren’t added to the bill, it’s important to note that we did get some Republican support for the Democrat amendments – which is a victory in and of itself.  
If you are represented by Senators Alting, Becker, Bohacek, Jon Ford, or Ruckelshaus, please thank them for supporting improvements to the bill and for having the courage to buck their caucus on this vote.

SB105 is now eligible for 3rd reading in the Senate.  That means the bill will be voted up or down by the entire Senate membership.  Although this legislation passed by a wide margin last year its opponents have been busy this time around and every vote will count.  Please share this information with your email networks, neighbors, co-workers – anybody and everybody.  Ask them to call their Senator at 1-800-382-9467 or 317-232-9400.  The message is simple:  Vote YES on SB105!

Indiana Senate Bill 105 and 91

Introduced by Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) is a redistricting bill introduced in the Indiana Senate for 2019.

The summary:

Establishes redistricting standards for congressional and state legislative districts. Provides that the initial proposed plans for congressional and state legislative districts must comply with the redistricting standards. Allows the general assembly, during the process by which the initial proposed plans become effective by being enacted as a law, to consider and adopt modifications to the initial proposed plans that deviate from the redistricting standards as long as the reason or reasons for each deviation are publicly explained and documented.

SB105 would establish new standards for redrawing district lines following the 2020 census. If it becomes law, SB105 would require redistricting processes to consider minority voices, and would limit how legislators can divide neighborhoods, public schools, and other entities that share common interests in an election. Legislators would have to disclose any deviation from the standards in the bill.

The measure would offer tighter guidelines, but would not be a comprehensive reform to how Indiana creates districts, because the General Assembly would still oversee the creation of the district map and have final approval.

Advocates for more thorough reform include Common Cause and Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting. (League of Women Voters Indiana is a co-founding member of Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting.) These reform advocates are pushing for a citizen commission to make sure districts are created fairly and represent all voters.

Indiana Senate Bill 91, authored by Sens. John Ruckelshaus (R-Indianapolis), Mike Bohacek (R-Michiana Shores), and Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute), may have a better chance of giving the public control over redistricting.

Their bill would create a nine-member commission for redistricting, the majority of members being chosen by the general public.

SB 105 passed committee 5-2 and moves to the Senate floor for a vote, while SB 91 has yet to be reviewed.

Source: Legislators almost out of time to end gerrymandering, says Indiana coalition

HR1 and Voting Rights

In January 2019, the first order of business for the House Democrats is HR1, a bill that will take up issues with voting rights, campaign finance reform, and lobbying. This bill was introduced by Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes, and a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico.

HR1 proposes some of the following changes to voting rights at a Federal level:

  • Automatic voter registration that allows voters to opt out rather than opting in.
  • Promoting efforts for early voting, same day voter registration, and online voter registration
  • Making Election Day a federal holiday that would give federal employees the day off, and encourage private businesses to do the same.
  • Prohibit voter roll purging
  • End partisan gerrymandering
  • Increasing election security
  • Recruiting and training more poll workers to cut down lines
  • Felons would regain voting rights after serving their sentences
  • Revives anti-discrimination provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act

The bill has little chance of passing the Senate this year, especially as is, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a future, especially with enough support from voters.

Source: House Democrats Introduce Anti-Corruption Bill As Symbolic 1st Act