Marion County Clerk Beth White unveiled another strategy Friday in her push to have early satellite voting in the November election.I have previously said that opposition to the satellite voting sites is likely to blow up in the Republicans' face. I argued that Republicans should agree to a compromise that allows them to pick up one satellite location while the Democrats pick the other one. While the Republicans have a point about the cost of satellite voting, it is not worth committing political suicide to take that position.
The biggest dispute between Democrats and Republicans over early voting at alternate locations has revolved around cost, which both sides agreed would be about $50,000.
White took that argument off the table by pulling together a $50,000 donation from the United Auto Workers, 6News' Norman Cox reported
"50,000 is not an inappropriate amount of money to spend for this purpose, but they've said they don't want to spend it," White said. "Well, thanks to the UAW, they're not going to have to. Private funds have been coming forward, and now all they have to do is sign the agreement."
There would be no cost for satellite sites, either. [Republican] Southport Mayor Rob Thoman volunteered his city building to be used as a satellite voting facility on the south side, and [Democratic] Washington Township Trustee Frank Short plans to provide his offices for a polling place on the north side.
Now White has taken cost off the table, Republicans are left with the second and political reason they don't support satellite voting...it aids Democratic voters who are slightly less likely to show up and vote on Election Day than Republican voters are.
It's time for the GOP to give up this losing fight. To go further will tether Mayor Ballard even more closely to the Republicans unpopular recalcitrance on the issue, giving Melina Kennedy a gold-plated election issue.