Waves of absentee ballot applications mailed out before November to all registered voters will cost local board of elections thousands of dollars, but will likely increase voter turnout. Last week, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced applications will be mailed to every registered voter in the state in two batches leading up to the November presidential election. More than 7.7 million Ohioans were registered to vote for the March primary. The program could cost between $2 million and $3 million in postage, according to state officials. Local board of elections officials are in favor of the effort. “It is a good thing,” said Lynn Edward Kinkaid, Butler County Board of Elections director. “It is giving everyone more opportunities to vote.”
Kinkaid said more people are taking advantage of absentee voting, which means shorter lines at the polls on election day. The state will pay for the program using existing federal dollars as part of the Help America Vote Act, according to state election officials. County election boards will pay for mailing out the ballots based on the applications they receive.
Kinkaid said the cost for mail ballots this year is expected to be 42 cents each. As of Thursday, there were 233,042 registered voters in the county. In the March primary election, 5,092 cast ballots and in the 2008 presidential election, 43,452 Butler County residents voted. If all who voted in the last presidential election requested an absentee ballot, the cost would be about $19,000.
Full Article: Absentee voting to cost millions.