Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why Does Obama's Campaign Want Satellite Voting In Lake County So Bad?

Lake County Democrats are determined to open up satellite voting centers in Lake County for this year's general election by hook or crook. Indiana law requires a unanimous vote of a county election board in order to open up satellite voting centers where voters can vote prior to election day. Lake County GOP members voted against the plan, however, because Democrats would only agree to open up voting centers in the Democratic cities of Gary, Hammond and East Chicago and no areas of the county where Republicans are more dominant. Lake Co. GOP Chairman John Curley says he had an understanding with Rudy Clay to have voting centers during the primary but not the general election. Curley says Clay changed his mind because the Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Jill Long Thompson had pulled his street money (i.e. unreported expendictures in the form of cash used by political operatives in any way they please to win votes) for the general election. A press release from Curley says:

Rudy Clay, Lake County Democratic Chairman, negotiated a plan with me in the spring of 2008 to open satellite voting locations for the primary. I said I was not in favor of the satellites but would go along with him then but NOT in the fall. He agreed. Chairman Clay approached me again a few weeks ago and I reminded him of our agreement. He said Jill Long has pulled his “street money” and he needs the satellites. I declined.

Notwithstanding Indiana law requiring a unanimous vote, Democrats plan to go ahead and open up the early voting centers illegally according to the Gary Post-Tribune. So what does this have to do with the Obama campaign? Curley claims that Obama's Chicago office approached him recently and offered assistance in garnering votes for Gov. Mitch Daniels if the Republicans would agree to go along with the satellite voting centers. Here's how Curley describes the exchange with the Obama campaign representative:

A representative of Obama’s Chicago organization asked to meet personally with me to discuss satellites. He specifically offered to procure votes for Governor Daniels at those satellites stating that Jill Long can not win and the governor is in “good shape.” He then asked if there was anything he could do to get this accomplished. I told him “No way.” It seems that Chicago politics is now invading NW Indiana.

It's quite clear that the Obama campaign believes these early voting centers in heavily Democratic Gary, East Chicago and Hammond are critical to his efforts to win in Indiana. The idea that Democrats would have helped deliver votes for Gov. Daniels at these voting centers is completely preposterous. Once upon a time, Republicans up in Lake County would have fallen for that offer hook, line and sinker. Obama has the full resources of the Chicago political machine available for these efforts just across the state line and we know all too well about their successful history in stealing elections.

As I've opined previously, this is all about the fact that Indiana is typically the first state in the country to be declared for the GOP presidential candidate. If Obama can make the race in Indiana so close that it cannot be declared for either candidate as soon as the polls are closed, this will send a chilling message about McCain's chances and have the intended effect of hurting GOP turnout in the parts of the nation where polls are still open. We saw in this year's May primary how Lake Co. GOP Chairman Rudy Clay withheld vote results in Lake County until the wee hours of the morning so that Clinton could not declare victory in Indiana during prime time. That left Obama alone to declare a big victory in prime time in North Carolina on that same election night. Clay and the Lake Co. Democrats learned how to utilize these voting centers during the primary to pump up Obama's vote totals. With a little practice under their belts, who knows what they're capable of doing in this general election.

Big hat tip to Frugal Hoosiers.


artfuggins said...

Marion County is having satelitte voting also. If it is available here, shouldn't it be available other places also. We live in a mobile complicated world and the goal is to increase voter participation, isn't it? Certainly neither party wants to depress voter turnout.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Wilson, That is one satellite facility in Republican Perry Township and one satellite facility in Democratic Washington Township. People can also vote early at the Marion County Clerk's office as has been permitted in the past. That isn't what the Democrats proposed in Lake County.

artfuggins said...

My name isn't Wilson.

Chris Worden said...

I might buy this story if I had a name of the Obama representative who made the offer. Do you have it?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Call up John Curley if you really want to know, Chris.