Friday, August 15, 2008

GOP Nixes Polling Place on UA Campus

After more than two months of discussion between the Washington County Election Commission, representatives from the UA Associated Student Government, and representatives from the UA chancellor’s office, the commission yesterday rejected the idea of having an early voting location on the UA campus. Opening an early voting site required unanimous approval to pass. The two Democrats, Chairman John Logan Burrow and Pete Loris, a Democratic Party representative, both voted to have a polling place in the student union. Renee Oelschlaeger, the Republican Party representative on the commission, cast the lone dissenting vote that put the kibosh on the UA polling site.

The Arkansas Times Blog offers an analysis of why the Republicans would be against making it convenient for all of those liberal students and faculty to vote or make it easier for working class staff to vote during their lunch hour. They might be more likely to vote for Democrats. The Northwest Arkansas Times joined the Republican Party in opposing the on-campus voting site, because "
the UA isn’t doing enough to instill civic-mindedness in either the students, faculty or staff" and those liberal weenie students "don’t need this extra bit of hand-holding." They should walk to the courthouse if they want to vote early, said the editors and the Republicans.

The Commission voted unanimously to establish an early voting location
at the Rodeo Community Center in Springdale. Republican Oelschlaeger had no problem with "spoon-feeding democracy" to voters in Republican-dominated Springdale, and those wealthier UA students can jump in their SUVs and burn a couple of gallons of gas to vote in Chickenopolis.

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