As the mayoral candidates trade barbs about the costs of various programs and priorities, there’s one big-ticket item that often gets overlooked: the special election itself.
In 2013 alone, the city took on three special elections and a corresponding $5.4 million tab to pay for them. It’s preparing to spend at least $4 million for another next month.
An analysis of past city election bills shows those contests came with a much higher per-voter charge than other elections the city’s held in the past decade.
The unexpected 2013 races cost the city an average of $25.95 per voter, a massive figure compared with the 42 cents per voter it paid in the November 2012 election.
Local election officials say the reason behind those hefty bills is simple: Special elections often leave a city unable to split the bill with other local governments with candidates or issues on the ballot the same day.
“The whole burden of the cost falls on the city’s shoulders,” City Clerk Liz Maland said.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
We should do both: Encourage more voting-by-mail (while allowing in-person voting at a small number of polling places) and using a preferential ballot so there is no need for primary elections separate from final/general elections.
The charts make the choice easy: it's time for voting by mail. And for those who absolutely have to have the personal social experience of voting at the polls, they can go to the Registrar's Office to do that. Think of the funds that would be saved - no rent for polling sites, no payments to "volunteers" to staff the sites, no transportation costs from ballot centers to the ROV. You vote in your home when it's convenient for you and send in your ballot, period. If it sounds to simple, it is. San Diego County should be the first to make this happen. Now it's up to the politicos.
How about an article on Instant Runoff Voting (also called Ranked Choice Voting) and how it could have determined a majority winner in the mayor's race in one election and thereby we could have saved the cost of a runoff election, like is done in San Francisco?
Incidentally, when the San Diego Registrar of Voters issued its contract to buy voting machines it had a provision in the contract that the machines would be adaptable to IRV.
We could save a lot of money on separate primary/runoff elections by switching to a ranked voting system such as Instant Runoff Voting or the Condorcet Method.Ranked voting system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranked_voting_systemPreferential voting or rank voting describes certain voting systems in which voters rank outcomes in a hierarchy on the ordinal scale. When choosing between more than two options, preferential voting systems provide a number of advantages over first-...