INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana's decision this year to observe daylight saving time statewide was supposed to end 30 years of clock-changing confusion. Instead, it sparked a battle that could create a time zone system in the state as puzzling as a Rubik's Cube.
At least 19 counties had asked to move from Eastern to Central time as of yesterday, the deadline to submit requests. If the federal government says yes to the requests, a person driving from Chicago to southwestern Indiana could go from Central time to Eastern to Central to Eastern and finally back to Central.
Indiana, like about a dozen other states, has long had multiple time zones. But most states are either split roughly down the middle or have only slivers in a different zone.
Eighty-two of Indiana's 92 counties are in the Eastern time zone, but only five change clocks with daylight saving time. Ten other counties are on Central time and have observed daylight saving time.
A law enacted in April required observation of daylight saving time and compelled Governor Mitch Daniels to ask federal officials to determine whether time boundaries should be changed.
Daniels did so, but he did not state a time zone preference, something the Department of Transportation -- which regulates time zones -- said was unprecedented.