Note: A correction and a clarification to this LTTE. I made an error regarding the satellite voting sites reducing cost. They don't. I regret the error. To clarify, the proper terminology is "satellite voting sites" instead of "vote centers" but that's really a distinction without a difference. Even the newspaper called them vote centers last fall. I should have called them "satellite voting centers."
Printed in the Herald-Times, August 19, 2011
To the editor:
The missed opportunity for vote centers in the 2011 election provides a chance to revisit last year's debacle, when Republican Election Board appointee Judith Smith-Ille blocked vote centers for the 2010 election.
Her obstructionism was motivated by shortsighted and counterproductive partisan politics, not policy. Smith-Ille explained that ex-Congressman Baron Hill supported vote centers because he wanted "extra votes." (H-T, 9/21/2010)
This is wrong. Republicans should support making voting easier and expanding the voter base. Vote centers will allow county government to save a significant amount of money and will make it easier for people to participate in democracy.
This position is also politically short-sighted. If Republican candidates are to have a chance of winning, we need to reduce the Democrats' margin of victory among IU students. How can Republicans expect students to vote for our candidates when we are telling them we don't want them to vote at all? Republicans should be providing a positive vision to get students to vote Republican in local elections.
It is time for Republicans to break with the counterproductive obstructionism of the past. New GOP chairman Steve Hogan should remove Smith-Ille from the Election Board and replace her with someone who supports vote centers.