After squaring off last week, Democratic and Republican elections officials have reached an agreement to free up parking spaces for the thousands of visitors who begin in-person voting in two weeks.

Summit County Board of Elections chair William Rich, a Democrat, presented a proposal last week to force employees to give up their parking spaces to voters. The move could boost voter turnout and decrease frustration as some voters have been towed in previous elections when they parked off-site, illegally.

Republicans, concerned for the safety of the employees and questioning the number of parking spots needed, asked administrators to find a single, large parking lot, preferably not next to a strip club two blocks to the south.

The board agreed Tuesday to pay the University of Akron no more than $3,000 to reserve 120 parking spaces, primarily for its employees but also for voters, at Gallucci Hall at Grant and Wheeler streets.

At no cost, an additional 16 spots have been reserved at the Summit Federal Credit Union (100 Wheeler St.) and another 75 spaces at the Akron Innovation Campus Co. (441 Wolf Ledges Pkwy.)

Early voting begins Oct. 12. The board of elections (470 Grant St.) or the early voting site next door will provide preferred parking for the public.

The extra lots, which are connected to the voting site by a series of walkways, also will be available to the public through Election Day, Nov. 8.

Doug Livingston can be reached at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @ABJDoug.