Gaines’ special elections bill cuts out polling places
SACRAMENTO — Sent. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, announced that he has introduced a bill that will help cut the cost of special elections in smaller California counties.
Senate Bill 109 will give counties with populations under 400,000 the option to hold solely vote-by-mail elections in situations where a special election is called.
“My bill will help cut the costs counties incur to conduct special elections by eliminating the mandate to open polling places and hire staff for these elections,” said Gaines.
El Dorado County Recorder-Clerk/Registrar of Voters Bill Schultz said the average cost of an election in the county is roughly $300,000.
“Should Senate Bill 109 become law I estimate a savings of about $50,000 — and that is on the conservative side,” Schultz said, “It comes down to not just saving money, but also avoiding the issues our smaller foothill communities face during elections held in the winter months. Delivery of equipment, transportation issues — all those are negated with the ability to vote by mail.”
Gaines said SB 109 has already received support from county supervisors and election officials.
“I have spoken to several county election officials who support the option to conduct all-mail ballot special elections,” Gaines said. “My measure will lower the costs they face and streamline the special election process.”
Sen. Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento and Sierra counties.
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