Remember, Klickitat County is ALL Vote by Mail!

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Klickitat County’s elections are all Vote-by-Mail. On May 15, 2007, the Board of Commissioners approved Resolution No. 10307, changing the administration of elections in Klickitat County from poll site to mail ballot. Klickitat County had been one of only 4 counties in Washington State who does not conduct all-mail elections, although 67% of our registered voters are voting by mail already.  It is not only costly but burdensome on the election personnel to administer both poll-site and mail elections simultaneously. With poll-site voting and 67% of the county presently voting by mail, the Auditor is actually administering two entirely different styles of elections. Data on poll-site operation expenses and vote-by-mail cost estimates vs. loss of a “way of life” here in Klickitat County were heavily weighed by our Commissioners.

Under the system of poll-site voting, it has become increasingly difficult to retain trained poll-workers. Many of our valued poll-workers are retired and are finding it more and more difficult to serve. The hours are long (14 hours), the equipment is heavy and technology is ever-changing. The small number of poll site voters creates a disproportionately high expense for polling places. After the November, 2006 General Election, one precinct’s poll workers wrote a note to the Auditor’s office, requesting their precinct be changed to vote-by-mail; they had less than five voters the entire day. A minimum number of poll workers must be hired and ballots specific to poll sites (rather than absentee) must be printed, regardless of the number of voters that will use them. Estimated monetary savings could be as much as $10,000 per each county-wide election. Voting by mail is secure. Every signature on each ballot is verified against the signature on the voter-registration record. Ballots are kept under lock and key. The ballot storage area is restricted to election personnel, no one person is left alone with ballots. A log is maintained of entry into the secured ballot locations.

Date of Source Material: 6/5/2007
Source: Klickitat County Auditor