Indiana county OKs state-mandated precinct consolidations

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — Election officials in northwestern Indiana's Lake County have approved a state-mandated consolidation of the county's small voting precincts.

Lake County's elections board approved a new precinct map Tuesday that shrinks the county's precincts from 523 to 364 ahead of the May 7 municipal primary elections.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports the precinct consolidations mean nearly 90,000 voters will have a new polling place.

Lake County Democrats had resisted a 2017 state law requiring the county to develop a plan for consolidating precincts with fewer than 600 active voters, arguing that it would most heavily impact the county's heavily-populated northern Democratic strongholds.

Democrats said Secretary of State Connie Lawson's consolidation plan would disenfranchise elderly and minority residents without transportation, forcing them to travel farther to reach their polling places.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com