Munster Woman Absolved Of Referendum Ballot Mistake
August 21, 2013 — A 69-year-old Munster resident who mistakenly cast two ballots in this year’s school referendum no longer faces the possibility of being accused of violating Indiana voter laws.
The Lake County Election Board publicly reprimanded Denise Witczak Tuesday morning for her transgression after she explained what happened. She said she did not knowingly or intentionally vote twice.
Witczak said she went to Munster Town Hall on the Saturday before the referendum election and cast an absentee ballot, because she said she was busy with personal matters including looking for work. On Election Day, a neighbor insisted that Witczak go to her local polling place and vote. Witczak told the Election Board that she was under stress and confused at the time she went into the voting booth.
Voting workers at Town Hall reportedly did not mark her first ballot on the courier sheet that went to the Election Day polling place — but the second ballot was not counted in the official tally.
A very upset Witczak apologized to the Election Board yesterday before the board ruled that there was no evidence that she knowingly voted twice.
Elections officials say it was an isolated incident and there was no evidence of any voting irregularities in the Munster referendum for a school tax increase. Election Board attorney Jim Weiser told the Lakeshore’s Chris Nolte that this outcome shows that the system of election checks-and-balances works.