The League of Women Voters would like to comment in support of S.B. 156 with regard to a specific use of election by-mail. We did a study on vote-by-mail several years ago, but could not reach consensus on whether to support an all by-mail election. However, we did support and continue to do so the use of vote-by-mail for special elections which need to be scheduled outside the time for regular elections.
We understand that S.B. 156 authorizes an election by mail voting system for Federal, State and County elections, subject to the chief election officer, in consultation with County Clerks, determining that an election by mail is economically and administratively feasible. We believe that, assuming administrative feasibility, the chief election officer and county clerks would find that especially for special elections, vote-by-mail would be economically sound. A comparative example that comes to mind is the high cost of the special election to fill the seat of U.S. Representative Patsy Mink on her unexpected demise.
We also feel that the bill addresses the very important need for adequate safeguards to preserve the integrity of the ballot used in elections by mail, to ensure fairness to all voters and minimize the opportunity for fraud.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on S.B. 156 and vote-by-mail for special elections.