By Scott Tibbs, September 9, 2011
Does the Monroe County Republican Party really believe that people should serve as "elected officials" without getting even one single vote in the general election? Does the Monroe County Republican Party really support having people be simply anointed to serve without any input from the voters whatsoever? Apparently, the answer is yes.
Judith Smith-Ille, the Republican appointee to the Monroe County Election board, voted to remove the names of unopposed candidates from the November ballot, meaning that the Democratic candidates for Mayor, City Clerk, and Districts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 would be "elected" without getting even one single vote. She was overruled by the other two members of the election board, so Bloomington city voters will not be disenfranchised in November.
I've already explained why this is terrible policy as well as why the argument is without merit legally.
What amazes me is that the Monroe County Republican Party leadership seems to think that this is a good idea politically. Does the Monroe County GOP actually think that disenfranchising every voter in Bloomington would help convince people to vote Republican? With all of the things local government is doing - such as standing in the way of I-69 and potentially causing us to lose truckloads of road construction money from the state in the process - does the Monroe County GOP really believe that this is the battle to fight?
Smith-Ille is wrong on policy, she's wrong on legality, and she is doing damage to the Republican Party politically. It is long past time for her to be removed from the election board.
Finally, the state legislature simply dropped the ball when they passed this law. The first order of business in January should be to repeal it. A vote to repeal should pass 100-0 in the House and 50-0 in the Senate.