HJ15: Vote-by-mail elections; State Board of Elections to study fiscal impact of conducting.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15

Offered January 8, 2014
Prefiled December 10, 2013
Requesting the State Board of Elections to study the fiscal impact of conducting vote-by-mail elections in the Commonwealth. Report.
Patron-- Krupicka

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, conducting vote-by-mail elections has the potential to reduce election administrative costs to the localities by eliminating expenses related to polling places, including voting equipment requirements and the recruiting, hiring, and training of poll workers; and

WHEREAS, a 2010 study found that if Colorado was to conduct a vote-by-mail election, the cost per voter would be reduced by almost 19 percent; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth may have higher rates of voter participation in non-presidential elections if conducting a vote-by-mail election; and

WHEREAS, Oregon and Washington have switched to vote-by-mail elections and have experienced increases in voter participation, particularly in non-presidential elections; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the State Board of Elections (the "State Board") be requested to study the fiscal impact of conducting vote-by-mail elections in the Commonwealth.

In conducting its study, the State Board shall study and compare the costs of current election administration and the potential costs of conducting a vote-by-mail election. The State Board shall highlight any potential savings in election administrative costs by eliminating polling places, including voting equipment requirements and the recruiting, hiring, and training of poll workers. The State Board shall take into consideration any potential losses related to recent purchases of voting equipment that would no longer be used in a vote-by-mail election.

Technical assistance shall be provided to the State Board by the local electoral boards and general registrars. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the State Board for this study, upon request.

The State Board shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2014, and shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an executive summary and a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports no later than the first day of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.