County Board of Elections ranks well among cost per voter

MAYVILLE – According to figures released by the New York State Board of Elections Friday and available on the state election board’s website, the Chautauqua County Board of Elections 2012 budget averaged $10.24 per voter.

When compared with the state’s 62 counties, Chautauqua County ranks 23rd in New York state in the number of registered voters and is also the 23rd largest county in the state. However, Chautauqua County’s average cost per voter registered is the 10th lowest in the state.

“We attribute the low cost of running elections in our county to our in-house printing of ballots,” Election Commissioner Brian C. Abram said. “We are one of just six counties in the state to print ballots. The remaining counties use of one of two commercial printers based in Albany and Rochester. Last year, the commercial printers were charging 57 cents per ballot vs. our local cost of 15 cents per ballot.”

“We also save tax money by delivering and picking up all voting machines and supplies,” Election Commissioner Norman P. Green added. “We also handle voting machine programming without seasonal help used by most other counties.

The Commissioners pointed to their election staff for the reason why they are able to do so much with so little. “Our people do it all from desk work registering voters to programming voting machines and pushing voting machines up ramps for delivery,” Abram said.

“The county taxpayers are the beneficiary of our cost conscious mentality for running elections, compared with the high cost for election service in other counties of the state ” Green said. “Villages and schools in the county also win big as we are able to provide elections for less than what they paid previously for mechanical lever voting.”