Gary Mayor Predicting Obama Surprise
Update: Obama has 65% of Lake County, Hillary 35%. John King says 17,000 vote difference statewide between them and Obama could win. 44% of Lake County is in, 95% of statewide vote.
Mayor of Hammond says every Mayor in Lake County except the Mayor of Gary endorsed Hillary.
Update: Wow. The Mayor of Hammond, also in Lake County, just said on Larry King Live that Hillary won Hammond by 600 votes and they turned the votes in at 6:30 and Lake County didn't release the votes. The votes they are releasing now are from Gary. They also failed to report the votes of four other cities in the county that she won. He says the mayors know the results and don't know why Lake County refused to release the vote count.
Here are the cities and towns in Lake County. Obama did well in the machine vote in Gary, Merriville and East Chicago. Hillary won Hammond Whiting, Schererville, Crown Point and some of the suburban cities in the southern part of the county. More...
Update: First Lake County results in. 28% of the vote is in and Obama has 75% of it. They are only 20,000 votes apart and her lead is down to 51%.
This is just amazing. First, a Fox reporter got inside where the votes are being counted in Gary. She says they told her it's just a slow count of the 11,000 absentee ballots. She said they are using elderly volunteers to count so it's going slow.
Now, according to the Washington Post, here's Gary's Mayor, an Obama supporter:
Gary Mayor Rudy Clay said just now that it might take a while yet to finish counting the vote in Lake County, which includes Gary, and said tonight his city had turned out so overwhelmingly for Barack Obama that it might just be enough to close the gap with Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"Let me tell you, when all the votes are counted, when Gary comes in, I think you're looking at something for the world to see," Clay, an Obama supporter, said in a telephone interview from Obama's Gary headquarters. "I don't know what the numbers are yet, but Gary has absolutely produced in large numbers for Obama here."
Clay said the results were late coming in from Lake County because of the large numbers of absentee ballots that had to be counted -- about 11,000. Under local practice, all of the cartridges from voting machines in Gary and nearby East Chicago are first collected at the local airport before being driven to the county headquarters to be tallied with the results from the rest of the county, he said. He said there were no major technical problems holding up the count.
"It takes a little time. We want to be sure that every vote is counted fair and right," he said. "I just talked to the director out there and they are working like junkyard dogs to get that done as soon as possible. They are taking some time but I told them to do it right. That's what taking the time."
Why did they wait to start counting the absentee ballots?
n March, Clay predicted the race would come down to Gary, telling the Northwest Indiana and Illinois Times that tonight on CNN, "They are going to point at Indiana and say Hillary Clinton is leading by one point but Gary ain't come in yet."
Clay himself was deeply involved in get out the vote efforts this afternoon, going door to door to drum up anyone who hadn't yet voted, he said. A volunteer in the Obama office in Gary said that canvassers who went out today found that in some neighborhoods almost everyone reported having already cast an absentee ballot.
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