The City Council voted Thursday to move ahead with Rancho Mirage’s first total mail-in election next spring. The decision, which was approved in principle during the budgeting process for this fiscal year, will save the city about $15,000, Rancho Mirage Clerk Cindy Scott said. April 10 is Election Day and the deadline by which ballots must be mailed in or dropped off at City Hall.
“Let’s give it a try,” Mayor Dana Hobart said just before the 5-0 council vote. The Riverside County Registrar of Voters’ office gave Scott cost estimates of $30,000 for an all-mail ballot versus $45,000 to run one with traditional polling places as well as mail-in ballots. Mailing ballots in has been the trend over the last two Rancho Mirage elections, Scott said, with almost 75 percent of votes in the April 2010 City Council election coming on a mailed ballot.
Eighty-eight percent of voters in the council election two years before that had mailed their ballots in. Councilman Richard Kite said the city of Riverside has moved to all-mail elections, with positive results.