Lead contamination in East Chicago forces scramble for new polling place

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In this Aug. 23, 2016 photo, a sign from the Environmental Protection Agency is posted in front of West Calumet Housing Complex houses at East Chicago, Ind. The EPA has detected high levels of lead in samples of dust and dirt tracked inside homes where soil is tainted with industrial contaminants. The contamination has resulted in the city calling for the demolition of the low-income complex and relocating its 1,000 residents. (AP Photo/Tae-Gyun Kim)

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — Lake County election officials are searching for a new polling place where residents of a lead-contaminated public housing complex can vote this fall.

County Elections Director Michelle Fajman said Tuesday that precinct committeemen are expected to meet soon to suggest an alternate polling place to replace the one used last spring in the recreation center of the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released data showing the soil at the complex is highly contaminated with lead and arsenic, and the city has decided to demolish the complex.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports Fajman said a recent mailing to registered voters in the complex are being returned because they’ve already relocated and left no forwarding addresses.

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