INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb is likely to sign into law major reforms for Porter County election administration after both the Indiana House and Senate approved the plan without a single legislator in either chamber voting no.

On Thursday, state representatives advanced House Enrolled Act 1217 to the governor's desk by concurring, 88 to 0, with a minor change made to the legislation by the Senate prior to its April 8, 49 to 0, endorsement of the proposal.

If enacted by the governor, starting July 1 a new board of elections and registration will administer voting in Porter County, instead of bundling the task with the other duties of the circuit court clerk.

Day-to-day operations will be overseen by a clerk-appointed director and assistant director, who must belong to different political parties, and the directors will hire election board employees on an equal-party basis.

The measure also prohibits nepotism in direct appointments to election board positions statewide, and requires Porter County absentee ballots be counted in a central location, instead of being delivered to polling places on Election Day.

All the Republican and Democratic lawmakers representing Porter County in both the House and Senate co-sponsored the proposal.

They said their goal was to put in place a system that will prevent a repeat of last year's general election that saw missing poll workers, non-existent absentee ballot deliveries and no vote tallies for days after the polls closed.

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