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Cost and Finance of Elections . Voting Technology Conference 2001 California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA. Election Responsibility. The Constitution of the United States, clearly defines the responsibility for the conduction of elections to the various States.

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cost and finance of elections

Cost and Finance of Elections

Voting Technology Conference 2001

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

election responsibility
Election Responsibility
  • The Constitution of the United States, clearly defines the responsibility for the conduction of elections to the various States.
    • Few States have opted to control the entire process
    • Most delegate the responsibility to the County
    • A few have “Home Rule” laws that result in many political bodies assuming that responsibility
election funding
Election Funding
  • Funding traditionally has been at the lowest level of responsibility for conducting the election
    • Technology purchase or lease is usually a capital expense item
    • The mobilization and running of the election is usually an operating budget item
    • Operating budgets are easier to obtain than capital budgets for most jurisdictions.
election funding4
Election Funding
  • Elections are usually very low on the list of priorities for local jurisdictions
    • Its something they do sporadically
    • It does not have high visibility to the public (until last November)
    • There is little positive political capital associated with the purchase and higher degree of negative political capital in the event of “glitches” that the media loves to report
election funding5
Election Funding
  • The result is that we, as a supplier of technology and services, typically experience between 100 to 200 jurisdictions changing technology in any given year
  • Another way of looking at the subject is that the average life of an election system is in excess of 15 years. (Some in excess of 30 years)
election funding6
Election Funding
  • Cost to Acquire Election Systems
    • Optical scan = $3 to 7/voter
    • DRE(Touch Screen) = $15 to 25/voter
  • Operating Cost
    • Optical scan = $1 to 2/voter
    • DRE = $0.5 to 1/voter

(varies by State and local requirements)

election funding7
Election Funding
  • Recent moves to provide Federal and State funding to local jurisdictions is much needed and welcome.
  • Although some fear what “strings” might be attached, it will help tremendously in the process of upgrading election systems nationwide
election funding8
Election Funding
  • In our opinion the issues that were raised as a result from last Novembers election has as much to do with people, processes and procedures as it did with technology.
  • Technology by itself would not have prevented many issues being raised in an election as close and as important as the Presidential Race
election funding9
Election Funding
  • We must be sure that we don’t neglect this very important aspect of running quality elections.
  • Training, education and improved processes will do as much as technology to prevent future issues from arising.