[OVC-discuss] Sac Grand Jury urges vote-by-mail to save money -- Sacramento Bee article

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Jun 30 2009 - 15:50:45 CDT

The article below can be found here:

It's based on a report here: (see pg 49, 50)


There is no mention of security tradeoffs or other practical
considerations -- save money only. The Holt bill would bring many more
costs for poll site voting. In my opinion, Holt would likely add fuel to
the fire for vote-by-mail only.

Alan D.

Grand jury urges vote-by-mail elections for Sacramento County
Published Tuesday, Jun. 30, 2009

Sacramento County's grand jury is calling for officials to take steps to
allow all elections to be conducted entirely by mail, a process that could
save the county $1 million in each election.

The recommendation is contained in the final report of the 2008-2009 grand
jury, which was released today and is available online at

Elections officials endorsed the recommendation, saying that voting by mail
not only saves the county money but promises to increase voter

"We find that when people have the option of voting by mail, they do, they
return their ballots," county elections spokesman Brad Buyse said. "It's
cheaper, so we don't have to have 600 to 700 polling places and up to five
precinct officers at each polling facility."

More people in Sacramento County already are voting by mail than going to
polling places, Buyse said.

In the May 19 special election, 63.7 percent of the votes cast were by mail,
and in last June's primary election 60 percent of the votes were by mail. In
the November general election, however, polling places still received more
ballots, with 55.8 percent of votes being cast there.

That election cost Sacramento County $3.5 million to conduct, the grand jury
found, but the cost of voting entirely by mail would have been reduced to
$2.5 million.

Currently, voters can opt to vote by mail under a change in the law that
occurred in 2002, and two of the smallest counties -- Alpine and Sierra --
conduct voting entirely by mail.

However, the state has not authorized all counties to move entirely to
mail-in voting, and the grand jury recommended that county supervisors press
for legislation that would allow that change.

"This is the direction we want to go in," Buyse said, noting that Oregon and
Washington already conduct statewide voting by mail.

In Washington state, all but Pierce County, which includes the city of
Tacoma, vote by mail.

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Received on Tue Jun 30 23:17:20 2009

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