Laserfiche WebLink
<br />CASS COUNTY <br />GOVERNMENT <br />.-. <br /> <br />Auditor <br /> <br />August 10, 2004 <br /> <br />Board of County Commissioners <br />Cass County Government <br />211 9th St. S. <br />Fargo ND 58102 <br /> <br />Michael Montiplaisir, CPA Re: General Election --- Early Voting Precinct <br />701-241-5601 <br />Dear Commissioners: <br />Treasurer <br /> <br />Charlotte Sandvik <br />701-241-5611 <br /> <br />Director of <br />Equalization <br /> <br />Frank Klein <br />701-241-5616 <br /> <br />Box 2806 <br />2ll Ninth Street South <br />Fargo, North Dakota 58103 <br /> <br />Fax 701-241-5728 <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />In the last legislative session we were successful in getting a provision added to the <br />election statutes regarding an Early Voting Precinct. The Early Voting Precinct <br />differs from Absentee Voting in that it provides an opportunity to involve the <br />political party into that process and also allows for true second chance voting, <br />something that is weak in the absentee process. <br /> <br />In the absentee process the voter either mails, faxes, or physically delivers an <br />application to the County Auditor to obtain a ballot. The County Auditor's Office <br />enters the name of the voter into our election system and prints a return envelope <br />for the ballot - this return envelope, a security envelope, and, in the case ofbaJlots <br />that have to be mailed to the voter, a mailing label. When the voter returns the <br />ballot we again enter that information into the election system. On Election Dayan <br />Absentee Board opens all those envelopes containing ballots, initializes the baJlot, <br />and puts them into the scanner. This whole process is a time consuming process <br />both for our office and the Absentee Board. <br /> <br />Time has become a big problem with absentee ballots. We have seen the number <br />of absentee ballots increase each year as rules have been relaxed, polling places <br />become farther from people homes or places of business, and political candidates <br />and parties encourage people to vote absentee. Our office usually does little else in <br />the two weeks before the election other than process the absentee requests that <br />come in the mail and handle walk in traffic. The mail requests and walk in traffic <br />are split about 50/50. To give you some idea of the numbers, we handle about <br />6,000- 7,000 absentee ballots in the weeks leading up to the General Election. <br /> <br />The Early Voting Precinct must be authorized by the County Commission at least <br />60 days prior to the election and the precinct must be located in a government- <br />controlled facility. There are some costs involved---we would have to do some <br />extra programming on our election equipment and pay the election board. <br />However, the costs would be manageable within the election budget. I would <br />estimate the costs to be about $3,000. <br /> <br />-----~~ <br />