The Monroe County Election Board has once again defeated a proposition which would have established additional voting sites around the Monroe County area. The motion was put forward by the group’s sole Democratic representative, Chairperson Jan Ellis, but failed to receive a second from either of the Republican members of the board. Monroe County Republican Party Chair Les Compton said the idea is baldly partisan and designed to give Democratic candidates an advantage in upcoming elections.
“That gave the Democrats a distinct advantage in satellite voting and I feel like it cost three of our candidates the election.” Compton said.
Democratic Party Chair Rick Dietz said both parties were involved in the creation of similar satellite voting sites during the 2008 Presidential election. He says additional polling stations and increased accessibility help all voters, not just Democrats.
“The only thing that’s different is Republicans not wanting the access to the ballot to be as easy as it was in 2008.” Dietz said. ” We think that’s the exact wrong direction to go in a democracy.”
Republican Board representative Judith Smith-Ille opposed the measure, citing concerns over the handicapped accessibility of satellite voting places. Circuit Court Clerk Jim Fielder said he does not expect voter turnout to be great enough to justify the expense of additional polling stations. Chairperson Ellis made no comment as to whether she would attempt to revive the proposition at a later date.