County’s Decision — To Use Only Only Four Polling Places For July 13 Election — Saves State $200,000

I spoke with Steve Harsman, Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections. He tells me that, by using only four polling places, the state will save $200,000.  The entire cost of the election is paid for by the state.

Mr. Harsman says that the decision to drastically reduce the number of polling places was a unanimous decision by the Board.  He said that, although the decision to slash the number of polling places will not directly save the county any money, one benefit to the county is that the state has provided and paid for some special equipment to facilitate this elections and, the county will get to keep that equipment without cost.

Harsman says, rather than suppressing the vote percentage, that based on the big number of absentee ballots already returned, he feels that the system of regional centers along with a vote by mail campaign should produce a bigger turnout than the turnout in the last Special Democratic Election — after the withdrawal of Stephanie Studebaker. The turnout for that Special Election was only 2.36%. No wonder Harsman thinks this new attempt will be better — how could it be worse?

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One Response to County’s Decision — To Use Only Only Four Polling Places For July 13 Election — Saves State $200,000

  1. Stan Hirtle says:

    The things we do for democracy. First I actually sat through the hour and a half you tube debate between the candidates. Most interesting part was about whether the district that the Rs created for Turner was a 3% advantage district (close enough to be winnable if things are really bad) as Roberts, showing his political operative background, said or a 10-15% or more advantage district, as the others said. Then I drove in the pouring rain to the Fairgrounds to spend about 30 seconds casting my vote. Having this election happen in a few almost undisclosed locations is scary. Voter participation is always too low, perhaps for the reasons Robert Reich gives in his post, but even an election that few care much about or see as significant deserves better. It’s like they are saying, this election doesn’t matter much so we aren’t going to do much about having it. Like having the NCAA “play in” 64 v. 65 basketball game in Dayton. At least people show up for that. This low budget election feels like a slippery slope, like eventually they will say “these elections don’t really matter so why even have them” like they do in North Korea or somewhere similar. The price of liberty is said to be eternal vigilance. I guess it saved us taxpayers some money in a time where there is a really big crisis, the lack of money for state and local government, police, fire, schoolteachers and the “commons” of our social existence as a result of the financial meltdown and resulting recession. But let’s not do this again.

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