City of Show Low
550 North 9th Place Show Low, AZ 85901 Telephone (928) 532-4000 Facsimile (928) 532-4009 firstname.lastname@example.org WWW.C~.S~OW-10w.az.u~
The Honorable Ken Bennett President of the Senate ? 790 LN. \Washington, S e n ~ t e Wing Phoenix, AZ 85007 The Honorable James P. Weiers Speaker of the House of Representatives 1700 W. Washington, House Wing Phoenix, AZ 85007 Subject: Report on City of Show Low's 2006 Mail Ballot Elections Dear Sirs: Pursuant to A.R.S. � 16-409(B), the City of Show Low is submitting the following report on the results of its mail ballot elections that were held in March and May 2006. The City's first ballot-by-mail elections were held in 2002. The Show Low City Council opted to hold traditional elections in 2004. 1. Changes in voter turnout The Show Low City Council approved the mail ballot election process for the 2006 elections Voter t~arnoutimproved from an average 14-15% turnout for a traditional elect~on 34% for the March 14 Primary Election and 25% for the May 16 General to Election. General 2006 Primary 2006 General 2004 Primary 2004 General 2002 Primary 2002 Primary 2000 Primary 1998 General 1996 Primary 1996 25% 34% 32% 32% 48% 37% 14% 14% 31% 15% (mail ballot election, one name on ballot for one council seat) (mail ballot election) (traditional election, first directly elected mayor) (traditional election, first directly elected mayor) (first mail ballot election cycle) (first mail ballot election cycle) (traditional election, combined with school bond election)
Election Report September 6,2006 Page 2 2. Relative cost of the mail ballot elections compared to traditional elections The City of Show Low contracted with Navajo County's Election Services Department to conduct the 2006 mail ballot elections. Research shows that the 2006 mail ballot elections cost less than the traditional elections in 2004. The cost per voter in 2004 was $3.23, which included the county's charge of $1.25 per active registered voter for using the new optical scan voting equipment, county charges for poll lists, and election board expenses. The cost per voter for the 2006 mail ballot elections was $1.00, a 69% reduction from 2004, which included postage to and from the voter. To not confuse the issue, I did not include any consultant fees or other mailings. The 2004 Primary Election ballot included the Alternative Expenditure Limitation proposition, and a publicity pamphlet in English and Spanish was prepared and mailed to all registered voters. The 2006 elections included a mailing prior to the Primary advising voters of the mail ballot process. Compared to previous years' elections, the costs continue to decrease. The cost per voter in 2002 (the city's first mail ballot elections) was $6.60 for the Primary and $4.88 for the General. In previous traditional elections, the city typically paid approximately $9.23 per voter. 3. Suggestions for improving or refining the mail ballot program As a result of mailing errors during the Primary Election (explained in item 4 below), the city's consultant realized that he needed to improve quality control. Consequently, the General Election went very smoothly. There were no comments received from voters during either election that they were confused by the mail ballot process. Presumably, it was the result of voters having experienced a similar election in 2002.
Also, the city clerk's office used many venues to advise the public thzt the spring elections were mail ballot elections. These included the city's website, government access cable television channel, newsletters mailed with the monthly utility bills, and public bulletin boards, as well as the local weekly newspaper and radio stations. A postcard was mailed to registered voters prior to the Primary advising them of the mail ballot process. A voter registration outreach and education booth was also set up at a local retailer prior to the Primary.
4. Frequency and severity of mail ballot irregularities The City contracted with a consultant to prepare, print, and mail the ba
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