The Lake County Election and Voter Registration Board audit of the 2022 primary election found minor discrepancies in the number of voters who signed in at the polls and the total number of votes cast at certain polling locations — but none of the discrepancies surpassed the audit threshold.
Lake County Board of Elections and Registration Board Assistant Director LeAnn Angerman said she’s “really proud nothing crossed the audit threshold.”
“We are seeing an improvement in the report,” Angerman said. “Poll workers are being mindful with what they do,”
Under Indiana code, county elections have to meet an “audit threshold number,” which is based on the number of registered voters in the precinct, Angerman said. When conducting the audit, Angerman said she compares the number of people who signed in to vote and the number of people who voted on a machine at each precinct.
In most precincts, the numbers match or are off by one or two, which is usually explained — like someone signing in to vote but having to leave before casting a ballot, Angerman said.
If a precinct has a larger difference between the two numbers, Angerman said she relies on state statute that establishes the threshold for error for each precinct. The threshold is based on the number of registered voters in the precinct, she said.
Of the 355 precincts open for 2022 primary election day, 39 precincts reported minor discrepancies, according to the audit. Of the 39 precincts, 32 precincts had a discrepancy of one vote and seven precincts had a discrepancy of two votes, according to the audit.
In the 2020 primary election, seven precincts were above the audit threshold, according to the 2020 primary election audit. During that election, five precincts were in mega or combined precincts, which means voters from multiple precincts vote in one location, Angerman previously said. At a mega or combined precinct, a poll worker has to select the voter’s precinct, so the data was likely skewed because of human error, she said.
When reviewing the data in the 2022 primary election, Angerman said several of the discrepancies were documented by poll workers as someone signing into the polling location but leaving before they cast a ballot. Angerman said the audit found “no trend of nefarious activity.”
Lake County Election and Voter Registration Board Director Michelle Fajman said she’s glad the audit found no major discrepancies in votes cast. The audit also highlights a few areas of additional training for poll workers on filing proper documents, she said.
“We’re very happy with the way the audit turned out,” Fajman said. “The outcome is that every year is getting better and better.”