Thursday, June 25, 2009

Opportunity to Save Hundreds of Thousands in Elections Costs

Deryl McCarty, Deputy Pierce County Auditor, has identified a method for saving Pierce County hundreds of thousands of budget dollars in the November election alone. McCarty has determined that a majority of ballots can have just one ballot card rather than the budgeted two ballot cards thus saving hundreds of thousands of dollars as compared to the budget.

In setting the budget, it was observed it was likely not all of the November races would fit onto one ballot card for some precincts. The budget was then set to use two ballot cards for ALL precincts. Through careful analysis, McCarty and others within the Elections Department determined that not all precincts would require the two ballot cards. Using only one ballot card for some precincts will save money on printing and postage for the ballots. This taking the initiative to save costs is welcomed by the taxpayers of the county and the county budgetmasters.

There is still work to be done to implement this cost savings. The Elections Department will need to keep on task to be able to implement this cost savings, but the county government needs to be focused on cost savings this year especially given the budget crunch. At a later date, we hope to report McCarty and crew have succeeded in implementing this cost savings measure.

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At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Rich Anderson-Connolly said...

Putting RCV and plurality races on the same ballot is an easy way to save money. Burlington, VT did this and had no problems. Pierce County should be able to do so as well. If they get stuck they could ask folks at Burlington for help.

We should note that additional savings are obtained by the elimination of the primary for the auditor's race. Compare this to the Port of Tacoma race that also has 3 candidates running. Because they don't have RCV they must run both a primary and a general election. The bill for the port will probably be over $250,000 for the primary. This unnecessary election likely meant a few additional lay-offs. And the voter turnout for those precincts with only the port race (many places in unincorporated Pierce) might not make it to double digits. Maybe the port should ask the sec of state for the authority to use RCV in the general and skip the primary altogether.

At 2:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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