Commentary – Cochise County Assessor on vote centers

Commentary by Bob Karp: Cochise County Assessor wants to go back to the "good old days" of voting in precincts

Letter to Cochise County Board of Supervisors

While I appreciate that Assessor Leiendecker believes a return to last century's (actually we had precinct voting up until 2015 ) voting procedures  would be a good thing, he only mentions "sense of community" as a real value.  I would remind him that "voters always vote at the same location in their neighborhood".  is unsupported by reality. In the past polling places often changed and voters had to search for the correct one. Also that the precinct level voting "eliminates long lines".  There is nothing that says that is necessarily correct.  Maybe the lines could be shorter, but by adding many more untrained poll workers and elections equipment to the mix, the likelihood of election day problems goes up.
How would the county run elections in 55 precincts?  Cost of equipment, training, moving highly secured equipment to many more locations, transport of ballots to and from the precincts.  I assume in the background is this wonderful idea of paper ballots that go into a lock box.  Election results would take weeks to accurately count.
Leiendeck has a 1950s view of the elections world and it doesn't line up with today's working families who need to be able to vote at the most convenient location which often is close to work so they can go at lunch or to and from work.
Vote centers are popular with the voting public and when the public finds out that for some nostalgic reason or something more nefarious, the costs of elections goes up three or four hundred percent, they will remember the politicians that ushered in this step back.  Let's go to the data.  Approximately 80% of Arizona voters vote by mail-in ballot.  The public doesn't need a "community event" on election day.  Just an easy way to cast their vote.
Don't do it!
By the way I don't miss "the election day process of voting at the local precinct polling location, seeing neighbors and poll workers who you know  and live around."
 A final word.  Of course Mr. Leiendeck has every right to comment on matters before the Board of Supervisors.  AS A PRIVATE citizen if it doesn't directly relate to his elected position in county government.  However, he signed his letter to the BoS has "Cochise County Assessor" meddling in a decision that his office should stay out of.
Posted in Commentary.