A paperwork mix-up has a recall election on hold in Aurora, while they sort out the legal timeline to hold an election. When the vote does happen, Hamilton County may join a growing list of counties sending all ballots in the mail. County Clerk Jill DeMers said they’ve had problems finding folks to work at polling places. “Especially with the late harvest this year, there was one polling place I had one lady working. I made multiple calls and I did end up with three poll workers and one that could work part-time,” DeMers said. Hamilton County could neighbors to the north in Merrick County, by going to all-mail elections. “It’s a lot easier, a lot less stressful,” said Merrick County Clerk Marcia Wichmann.
Populations are aging, and Wichmann says she has had to work the phone just to come up with the bare minimum they need to hold an election.
“It’s harder because your younger people are working and we can’t pay what they’re making at their jobs,” Wichmann said.
Merrick County was one of the first in Nebraska to hold an entire election through the mail.
Whether or not it saves money remains to be seen.
Wichmann said, “It probably costs the county about the same, because we had to clean up their files, we had a lot of people that walked ballots back in rather than utilizing return postage, live and learn situation.”