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Satellite voting station has merits — and costs

August 28, 2012
Estherville Daily News

It's a noble idea, but fraught with challenges - and, of course, costs.

The idea is satellite voting stations. Emmet County Auditor Mikki Erickson told the Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday that Romney campaign workers have contacted her three times so far about setting up two satellite voting stations in Emmet County - one in Armstrong and the other in Estherville. The stations would be open before Election Day and for a minimum of six hours.

Erickson thinks the public should understand that setting up these stations will cost taxpayers and take valuable time away from the auditor's office as it prepares for a Presidential election. She also points out that voters also have the option of voting absentee.

Actually, both parties are right.

It's hard to set a price on a "cost per vote". If we did that, we would have to conclude that a lot of elections are simply not worth the cost.

But cost is simply not the point. To view the election process as a matter of economic efficiencies is to fail to see its very purpose - to elect representative officials who will speak toward our best interests whether it's at the local, state or national level. And if you count the number of Americans who have fought and died in wars, both foreign and domestic, to give us the right to vote, there is no possible way to set a "reasonable" price per vote.

If satellite voting stations are established, and it appears they will, we might suggest two excellent locations - Valley Vue Care Center in Armstrong and the Good Samaritan Society in Estherville. Why these locations, you might ask? Well, because it would be of service to our seniors who helped build this country and who have earned the right to vote more than anyone else. They are the ones who lived through the Great Depression, who fought in World War II and Korea, who saw the rise and fall of communism and lived to speak of it. Yes, the voting booth should come to them, if anyone - rather than the other way around.

If it would be possible to have a satellite voting station at Rosewood Manor, that would be a good idea too. But with the Masonic Temple directly across the street from Rosewood, if the county were limited to two satellite stations Valley Vue and Good Sam would seem to be the best options.

And yes, it will cost money. But we can find no better reason to have satellite voting stations than to better serve our seniors.

And you had better bet they deserve it.



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