Thinking Beyond the Ballot Box: Vote-by-Mail

It works well in Oregon and Washington, and a Nebraska Senator has noticed the opportunities vote-by-mail provides.

Nebraska’s 1011now.com reports that on January 18, Senator John Harms introduced LB 1094, a proposed law that would give Nebraska counties with a population under 10,000 the ability to conduct all vote by mail elections if the eligible voters of the county have approved mail-in voting. 

Adam Morfeld, executive director of Nebraskans for Civic Reform, thinks that the mail legislation will create more accessible elections for rural Nebraska voters as well as “streamline the election process for administrators that will likely result in cost savings.”  Morfeld pointed out that the proposed legislation “is particularly timely as Nebraska and other states lose their federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) election funding.”

Vote by mail elections eliminate the two-tier election system and reduce election costs, as vote-by-mail eliminates poll site rental fees, poll worker salaries and training costs, and maintenance of poll site tabulators. 

At present, all vote by mail elections are conducted in the states of Oregon and Washington, but LB 1094 would allow Nebraska counties that elect vote by mail elections to switch to this method.

“LB 1094 gives the ultimate authority to switch to all vote by mail elections to the people of the county and has proven to be incredibly successful and popular in Oregon and Washington,” stated Morfeld.

Until now, many of VIP’s applications have focused on finding polling places, but vote-by-mail provides a perfect opportunity for building new tools for the growing segment of voters casting ballots by mail. Do you have any ideas for vote-by-mail applications? Leave them in the comments or tweet us @VotingInfo.

Michelle Shim