Sunday, August 28, 2005

Washngton county prepares to hold first by-mail elections

Whatcom County is the next in what is sure to be a long line of Washington state counties switching to by-mail elections. Already, neighbor Oregon has held elections by mail for nearly a decade with few problems. Quite the contrary, Oregon officials believe their system is superior to traditional precinct-based elections with large numbers of absentees (what they call a "mixed" elections system).

In Washington state, more than 75% of voters choose absentee ballots already. And a new state law, requiring paper trails for all ballots, has made it even more cost effective to switch to a full absentee, or fully by mail, system.

As in Oregon, Whatcom County officials are using the US Postal Service to clean their ballot rolls, having removed 4,000 names already as election notices come back "return to sender."

Story referenced here:


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