Published On: Wed, Dec 5th, 2007

Coleridge will hold County's first all-mail election

COLERIDGE — The Cedar County Clerk’s Office is in the process of the first all mail election in Cedar County.
The statute was just changed in 2006 to allow elections by mail, according to County Clerk Dave Dowling.
“It will be interesting to see how the election turns out,” said Dowling. “In a special election like this, when it is done in the regular way, there is a 25 to 30 percent voter turnout.”

There could be a larger number of votes cast in an all-mail election.
With an all-mail election, each registered voter will have a ballot in their hands, according to Dowling.
“I am anxious to see the results,” Dowling said.

The election is being held for a village bond issue dealing with the Embers Assisted Living Center, which is owned by the village.
Dowling’s office mailed ballots to the registered voters within the corporate limits of Coleridge last week; the ballots can be returned by mail or physically brought to the Cedar County Clerk’s office. His office will be tabulating the ballots on Dec. 11.
“You can only do it on special elections like this one; as long as people are not being elected you can do it,” said Dowling. “It can’t be used in a re-call election or in the general election.”
Dowling said he knows of only three other counties that have held an all mail election since the change in statute came about.
One of the benefits of going with an all mail election is the savings in the cost of the election.
The scanner has to be used to tally the votes – it does not matter how few the number might be.
“By law we have to use the scanner, but we don’t have to use the Auto-mark. That is where the money is saved. We don’t have to pay to have it programmed,” said Dowling.
Dowling said he knows of only three other counties that have held an all mail election since the change in statute came about.
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