Thursday, August 4, 2011
Satellite Voting Still Volatile Issue
Marion County Clerk Beth White is making the neighborhood group rounds drumming up support for satellite voting in Marion County.
The highly successful program, implemented for the first time in 2008 and then a second time in 2009, came to a crashing end last year when Patrick Dietrick, the lone Republican on the Marion County Election Board refused to concur with the two Democrats on the board and allow the practice.
White found a loophole in the law and opened off site, temporary Clerk's Offices and several voters utilized it. The clerk says that, for the first time ever, more people voted absentee in person rather than voting by mail when the program was rolled out in 2008.
I voted at the Southport satellite voting center, and the process was smooth and easy. I waited for about 10 minutes or so in line outside the site, but things moved quickly. It was highly organized, and I thought the process went very smoothly. I know my vote was delivered to my home precinct and counted on Election Day. If I had any concerns about ballot security, believe me, I would not have voted that way in 2008. Not only was my name on the ballot running for Decatur Township Advisory Board, but I was also anxious to vote for Barack Obama and Andre Carson.
It appears that Mayor Greg Ballard and the Marion County GOP have no interest in reviving the satellite centers this time around. You can at least make your voice known. If you are a voter in Marion County, you can sign a paper petition at the Clerk's Office or click here for an online version of the petition.
Hopefully, Deitrick and the Republicans will see the groundswell of support for satellite voting and see through the purely political reasons for blocking this service to voters.
For more information on satellite voting, click here.