December 29, 2008

Jerry Hill's First Assembly Bill

Former San Mateo County Supervisor and now Assemblyman, Jerry Hill, (19th Assembly District) has introduced AB 84, which is his first legislative effort in Sacramento. The bill is pretty straight forward. It requires local election officials to set up a free system that would allow voters to check if their vote by mail ballot was counted or not - and if not, the reason(s) for it not counting.

This bill is similar to the provisions of the Help America Vote Act section that required the same type of system for voters to determine if their provisional ballot was counted or not. (Which very few voters take advantage of, BTW).

AB 84, as currently written, is a good, "consumer" bill that might serve to increase the confidence of vote by mail voters. The downside is the cost of implementation which would mainly be the costs associated with creating a tracking system for each vote by mail ballot. Since this portion of the electorate has increased significantly, the costs for some counties, like Los Angeles, could be significant.

And the big question is, "since this is a state mandated program, will Sacramento pick up the tab?"

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