A general election can cost a county around $1.5 million, a sizeable chunk of cash given the ongoing fiscal crisis most jurisdictions are in.
But what if all voting was conducted with mail-in ballots instead of at the polls, a move that could save up to 50 percent, according to the just-released Sonoma County Grand Jury report.
Would you support moving to an all vote-by-mail system? Vote in our poll below.
It can cost a county up to $6.38 a voter to process a ballot filled out at a polling place, but only $3 per voter to process a ballot that has been mailed in, the study found.
Sonoma County already has the second highest rate of mail-in ballots in the state (Santa Clara is first), but some voters say they enjoy walking into a polling place and filling out the ballot at the voting stand. And don’t forget the “I Voted" sticker, which many proudly wear to show that they actively engage in the democratic process.
Still, setting up the voting stations (there are 230 around the county) and then transporting the ballots is costly and time-consuming, prompting the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters, and most other counties, to support moving to a 100 percent mail-in election. Ultimately, however, any change to how elections are conducted, would have to occur through the state legislature.
Let us know how you feel. Would you be in favor of eliminating in-person voting at polling stations? Why or why not?