The Lake County election board is investigating how a woman managed to cast two votes this spring in the Munster school referendum.
Jim Wieser, an attorney for the bipartisan board, said elections officials are working to determine how the county's computerized database failed to record the woman's first ballot, cast May 4 as an in-person absentee ballot.
She voted again May 7 — Election Day — in Munster Precinct 21, Wieser said.
Munster town residents approved the referendum with 3,689 “yes” votes against 1,991 “no” votes to raise taxes 19.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The money will supplement property tax revenues needed for school payrolls and other operational costs.
Wieser said the woman's double vote was eventually discovered. She has been notified of the investigation and advised to seek legal counsel because she may be in jeopardy of a criminal investigation, Wieser said.
Wieser said the board has yet to hear from the woman about why she voted a second time.
Pat Gabrione, the assistant elections director, said the incident appears to be an aberration. He said there is no evidence of widespread voting irregularities during the referendum.Democrats frequently commit vote fraud by allowing the same person to vote more than once in an election, but they typically carry it out by casting votes in the name of another person who they know won't appear to vote in-person. With all of the early absentee balloting that occurs now, it is not unusual for someone who casts an early vote to show up again on election day to vote. The election board is able to ascertain that fact, however, and discards the absentee vote so the person's vote isn't counted twice. Someone on the election board wasn't doing their job in order for this woman to be allowed to cast two votes.