Monroe County Democratic leaders held a rally Monday to urge county Republican leadership to change its stance on satellite voting in advance of November’s election.
By Indiana law, each county must have one satellite voting location open prior to Election Day. Each county’s election board can vote to open more locations, but by statute that vote must be unanimous. So any election board member has the power to nix additional satellite voting sites, as Judith Smith-Ille did by voting no last week to a proposal for opening three locations throughout Monroe County. Though he didn’t mention Smith-Ille by name, county Democratic Party chairman Rick Dietz clearly had her in mind.
“It seems like a significant enough community issue that raising the issue, having a dialogue in the community and seeing that there is real interest in satellite voting could change some opinions,” Dietz said.
Bloomington State Representative Matt Pierce said satellite voting helps alleviate some problems brought on by the crunch of Election Day.
“And what I’ve determined from studying our election system is the 12-hour, one-day voting process is pressure-packed,” he said. “You have to be perfect for that entire day. You have to count on everyone being trained to perfectly understand one of the most complicated election laws in the country. And it just doesn’t happen.”
The election board meets again this evening to bring the satellite voting proposal to another vote. A Republican Party spokesman said he doesn’t think the second vote will differ from the first.