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Bill to close Pierce County polls clears key Senate committee

Post by Maks Goldenshteyn on Feb. 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm with 7 Comments »
February 26, 2010 5:49 pm

A bill that would force Pierce County to conduct its elections entirely by mail has cleared a key committee and could be up for a vote on the Senate floor next week.

Pierce County is the last county to allow residents to cast their votes at the polls.

The vast majority of registered voters who voted opted to do so by mail in this month’s special elections — just over 1 percent of voters showed up to polling locations while nearly 37 percent mailed their ballots in.

According to Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office, 90 percent of the ballots cast in each Pierce County election are absentee.

It costs $150,000 to run the polls for primary and general elections.

Pierce County auditor Julie Anderson want to go to an all-mail system. She says conducting elections with only absentee ballots saves money and takes care of the risks in error posed by overseeing 1,000 temporary workers.

And Anderson says the cost of running and staffing the polling sites could grow. She’s been told Pierce County may soon have to provide written and oral material in three languages at polling sites because of growing Hispanic and Korean populations.

“People might have a little sticker shock when we tell them how much it costs to operate polls in 2011,” Anderson said in a recent interview.

South Tacoma Democrat Rosa Franklin remains “adamantly opposed” to going to an all-mail system.

She points to legislation passed in 2005 that gave counties the choice to let voters cast their ballots at the polls.

“That is a reason why citizens, voters, don’t trust government,” Franklin said. “You say one thing and you do something else.”

The Pierce County Council supports keeping the polls open.

A similar house bill was considered last year, but died late in the session before receiving a vote on the Senate floor.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. sloremodeler says:

    “That is a reason why citizens, voters, don’t trust government,” Franklin said—Are you kidding me? If Rosa thinks this is why citizens distrust government then she is even more out of touch than I thought. Honey, there are probably 100 good reasons why citizens question the quality of their government. Vote by Mail is not one of them. Good going Julie – don’t back down from trying to spend our tax dollars properly.

  2. tacomajoe says:

    Franklin should know – she’s one of the fascists who voted to disregard I-960. The TNT is a solid paper, but it would be a great paper if it would call out pieces of dogcrap like Franklin. Can’t wait to show her the door.

  3. the3rdpigshouse says:

    I do love it so when the socialist democrats have absolute control of the election process in the socialist state of Washington!! Wake up ignorant electorate!!!

  4. headedsouth says:

    Rosa is long in the tooth and from a district that does not even care to research who they vote for since they have elected her to office for too long. We need a revolution.

  5. the3rdpigshouse says:

    I understand Franklin won’t be running again – that is the only way a socialist democrat leaves office in the socialist state of Washington!! The electorate is too ignorant to fire socialist democrats

  6. Wow. A little off topic there. Senator Franklin has served the 29th Legislative district with dignity and respect. Shame on you for your remarks.

    I

  7. Now, as to the closing of polls.

    Historically, I”m a poll voter. I’d take my kids to the polls and make a big deal of it. When our daughter was 6, she even reminded us to go to the station to vote on a a school levy. It’s a great experience.

    Now that we’re in the 21st century, I’ve switched to voting by mail.

    I gather the kids around the table and we discuss the issues and we do it together.

    They still get the civics lesson, we still vote, and it all works out.

    The County Council is against the closing of the polls, and they have not given our auditor any funding to keep them open.

    Tradition is important, but it’s time that we make new traditions with our ballots, and do what it fiscally responsible for our county and our state.

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