Board rejects satellite voting for second time

Decision upsets local constituents

For the second time in one week Bloomington residents and IU students gathered with hopes of satellite voting sites being added to the area.

The Monroe County Election Board discussed the creation of the voting sites Aug. 25 but missed the unanimous vote needed to pass the motion by one.

“We’ve got reason to believe it will pass this time,” said Kelly Smith, a member of Students for Access to Voting Early (SAVE), before the meeting.

The board as a whole, however, declined to even vote on the matter. Jan Ellis, chair of the election board, motioned for the adoption of four satellite voting sites in 2010.

If passed, the four sites would be located in Smithville, Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, an Ellettsville Fire Station and the Indiana Memorial Union.
The funding for these sites was approved by the Monroe County Council last week.

“We should fully utilize the spending for the maximum community benefit,” Ellis said. “We need the four sites to utilize the funding.”

Because neither Jim Fielder nor Judith Smith-Ille, both election board members, seconded the motion, it was dropped without a vote.

Bloomington resident Scott Campion addressed the need for citizens of the county to have every opportunity to vote, especially now that the potential sites had already been funded.

“You have the money. You have community support. You’ve got the time,” Campion said. “Why won’t you do it?” Smith said students have the right to easy voting access now as they did during the 2008 elections.

Justin Kingsolver, president of the IU College Republicans, felt differently.

“This is a partisan issue. I know you’re all saying that it isn’t, but it is,” Kingslover said. “We need to make it as easily possible to vote, but we must realize there are limits to that. Some sacrifices have to be made to vote.”

Jordan Emily, a political science student at IU, was disappointed by the meeting’s conclusion.

“I think it’s appalling because they’re clearly making it a partisan issue,” Emily said. “Students need to show up in numbers at the next meeting to defend the voting process.”

Though this was the second time the board has rejected satellite voting, the issue may still not be at rest.

“I am going to reserve the right to bring it up again,”
Ellis said.

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