Ballots on demand
Ada County starts printing ballots on demand for early voters in 2012 presidential election. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
There's a lot of guesswork when preparing the number of ballots for an election, and guesswork can be costly. But the future of elections in Ada County could save taxpayers some big bucks.
Efficiency, accuracy and cost savings are the benefits of ballots on demand which Ada County will test this fall in early voting only.
"Each election, we overestimate the number of ballots we need for a particular election," said Phil McGrane, Ada County Deputy Clerk. "With this we use blank stock and only use ballots we need for voters who show up."
The savings is clear. Necessary overprinting of ballots cost Ada County 140 thousand dollars over the past 4 years. And this election, each ballot costs 65 cents because its two pages long. Now early voters can show up and have thier specific ballot printed in just 20 seconds. No muss no fuss and no waste.
"Right now this is a pilot," said McGrane. "It's the first time in a live election we're using it in just early voting facility to make sure everything works." McGrane says the next logical step would be to use ballots on demand for absentee voting, and an estimated 40 thousand people will vote that way this November.
Eventually, the goal is to bring ballots on demand to all the county's polling places. But for now, you can see how the system works if you decide to vote early.
Early voting runs from October 15 to November 2 at the elections office at 400 North Benjamin Lane in Boise.