COUNTIES UP and down California are hurting for cash. Budgets are being cut and election departments are being asked to reduce expenses.
But there is an idea that would maintain election integrity and continue physical polling place elections but at that same time save money. The idea is a move to "voting hubs."
Let's look at costs.
The poll worker costs for 500 precincts is approximately $225,000. Establishing 20 voting hubs that would be operational for seven days would cost approximately $100,000 assuming each voting hub had five staff members and was open for eight hours per day (each worker would be paid $18.00 per hour).
But other savings comes from the reduce amount paid for renting 500 polling places and the cost of recruiting and training 2,000 poll workers.
Total savings for using voting hubs could be as much as $250,000.
Colorado has used voting hubs in past elections and Phoenix, Arizona is considering using voting hubs for the future. Perhaps it is time for California to try the voting hubs idea? Legislation could allow a couple of counties to pilot the idea and report back to the legislature. If successful, as measured by service to voters, election integrity and money saved, the idea could be abandoned or expanded.