Exercise Your Right to Vote
The Apportionment Act of 1921 determined that Lake County was entitled to 3 seats in the state senate and 5 seats in the state house, plus 1 shared house seat with Porter County. This was in effect until 1963. Of the 68 individual representatives who served Lake County during this same period, 63 of them were Democrat. This area of the state was considered the “bastion of Democratic liberalism” in Indiana. This, in part, was due to the make-up of the county. Lake County was the second most urbanized and industrialized county in the state, only behind Marion County (Indianapolis) throughout the 1930s. During this same time period, the state representation was beginning to diversify from agrarian to industrial, just as the county population was shifting in terms of ancestry, religion, and profession.
Almost 58% of all primary registered voters voted in the May 8, 1934, primary for the District 1 US Representative and the State Senators and State Representatives. Interestingly, the total votes and percentages for each race were not the same; however, the Democratic candidate did win for each race. There was roughly a 52-47 % margin, with 1% going to other candidates. Although approximately 55% of the population was eligible to be registered to vote, only 1/3 of population voted in this election.
In the US Representative – District 1 election Democrat W. Schulte was victorious over Republican E. Norton. The three State Senator results were as follows: Democrat: R. Sohl beat Republican: J. Neddl, Democrat: F. Eichhorn won against Republican: G. White, and the Democratic candidate D. Lynch was triumphant over the Republican candidate G. Smith. There were 5 State Representative races for Lake County. Whiting resident Democrat J. Klen won over Republican C. Gamon. Democrats M. Downey, J. Roszkowski, R. Stanton, and W. Morris, Jr. were the victors over Republicans M. Murray, B. Kuss, L. Huffman, and W. Burns, respectively. There was one additional State Representative that represented a joint Lake-Porter District; it was Democrat B. Hoffman who triumphed over Republican O. Strom.
So often did Lake County feel removed and at odds with the rest of the state that in 1935, Representative Joseph Klen introduced a resolution providing for the declaration of Lake County as a separate state. He stated that the people of Lake County “don’t like the way they’ve been doing things down here” since things operate differently between the two places. After the resolution made it past the military affairs committee and a third reading to the Assembly, it was eventually voted that Lake County was ineligible to secede from the rest of Indiana. However, many feel even today, as they did in the 1930s, that Lake County has essentially existed as a state within a state politically.
1934 Primary Election Rolls: These rolls were in possession of The Lake County Board of Elections and Registration. They were found by the Honorable Lorenzo Arredondo while looking through other records at the American Legion post. There was discussion as to the best use/display of the records so they would not be lost to time and space again. The board decided to make an offer to the Crown Point Community Library Indiana Room as a donation of the rolls. It was agreed between the Director, Indiana Room Specialist, and Board Representative that the record books would be transferred to the Library. The official transfer of records to the Director and Indiana Room Specialist occurred during the July 16, 2019, Lake County Board of Elections and Registration meeting. The Library agrees to make them available to the public for viewing. Please see the Reference Desk if you wish to view the roll books – Crown Point and Hobart, East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Townships (Calumet, Cedar Creek, Center, Eagle Creek, Hanover, Hobart, North, Ross, St. John, West Creek, and Winfield), and Whiting.