Lake: Three residents to approach election board about voting machines


A candidate who was defeated in the race for the U.S. House 5th Congressional District seat during the Nov. 8 general election says three more individuals plan to approach the Hamilton County Election Board during its meeting next week after two residents cited issues with voting on their machines.

Jeannine Lee Lake, a Democrat, told media outlets in an email that three voters from Hamilton County will approach the board during its Nov. 18 meeting. Two Noblesville residents, Cynthia Gast and her daughter, Kristina Gast, told the board during its Nov. 8 meeting that they pushed the button to vote straight-ticket for the Democratic party, but as they reviewed their selections before finalizing them, they noticed no candidate was selected in the race between Lake and incumbent Republican Victoria Spartz.

Both women, who voted Nov. 2 on different machines, individually selected Lake before casting their ballots, but were concerned other straight-ticket voters may have experienced the same issue without noticing it, thus inadvertently not voting in the race.

Spartz defeated Lake during the Nov. 8 general election. The board voted during its meeting on Election Day to conduct an examination of voting machines used during early voting at the Hamilton County Judicial Center in Noblesville, but it remains unclear when that examination will occur.

In a statement, Lake said, “We will follow the forensic reports and let the investigators do their job. To be crystal clear: Jeannine Lee Lake conceded the race Tuesday evening and called 5th Congressional District Representative Victoria Spartz to congratulate her.”

Lake said she and her campaign believe that Spartz won the race, “but we also do not want to mute these women’s credible accounts of their voting experiences at the Noblesville Judicial Center.”

“The hope of Jeannine Lee Lake is that women should be believed and heard. She is thankful that the Hamilton County gave these women space to present sworn affidavits and testimonies. I am confident that we all desire the same thing: that every single vote in Hamilton County and in Indiana is properly counted,” according to the statement.

She did not identify the three individuals who plan to approach the election board or whether they had similar issues that Cynthia and Kristina Gast had when they voted.

Greg Purvis, the lone Democrat on the three-member board, moved to initiate the examination to be held in conjunction with the county’s voting machine technicians, voting machine supplier MicroVote and Ball State’s Voting System Technical Oversight Program, which tests election equipment used in Indiana.

Hamilton County Election Administrator Beth Sheller said earlier this week that she wasn’t sure when the examination would take place but said the board would likely address provisional ballots during its meeting. The Hamilton County Election Board will meet at 10 a.m. Nov. 18 at the Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center.