Whether you voted or not, counties use that data to save money. But Board of Elections commissioners at Washington County take things a step further. Not only do they look at voter turnouts from previous elections, they’ve adopted a strategy similar to Wal-Mart’s “just-in-time” inventory, projecting the ballot needs of each polling site beforehand and hand-delivering extra ballots when needed.
With traditional lever-type voting machines, election boards simply stored a summary sheet along with affidavit, emergency and absentee ballots. But for the last two years, with electronic voting ballots in use, the state and printers have informally recommended that election boards look at the number of registered voters, then print out 110 percent of ballots needed, according to state and local officials.
Counties that have printed 100 percent have ended with too many unused ballots, said Washington County Republican Commissioner Leslie Allen.
In a time of local government budget cuts, Washington County sought to avoid paying the 57 cents per ballot charged by a private printer. This summer, the county bought a 12-foot by 4-foot printer, which prints out 90 pages per minute. Each ballot costs 7 cents. “It’s a heck of a lot cheaper,” Allen said.
Savings from printing costs this year alone have already recouped the cost of the printer, Allen said. But Washington County’s printer is a rarity across the state. Only four other counties – Chautauqua, Erie, Onondaga and Schenectady – have their own printers or in-house print shops, Allen said.
Full Article: In Washington County, counting ballots to save dollars.