Opinion: My Ballot is a Waste of Postage
In the Yakima Valley, we've had low voter turn out for years. Heck, just a look at the County Website & you can see the numbers for primaries and general elections. It really seems like only roughly half of those who turn out (mail or drop off their ballots) for the primaries continue to do so for the general elections. I also always felt sad, that more people didn't participate. Well, when I got home from work last night, finally got around to looking at my ballot, I know fully understand why some people don't even bother.
The old saying goes, "You can't complain if you don't vote!" I wanna complain because there's nothing for me to vote for. I literally have no contestant or in this game! Here's a picture of my ballot.
I got home, saw this sitting out, my wife opened hers and took the time to fill it out, and left mine on the table for me to complete. The envelope was on top, so no ballot bullying rage yet. Then I moved some stuff around to see what my patriotic duty needed me to help decide! WTF?
That is it? I get to vote for "School District Nonpartisan Offices - Yakima District No. 7 Director, Position 2". This is a 4 year term and I can only choose 1 (out of 3). Well, let me first say, I do not have a child, so as much as the children are our future, and this does effect all of us in one way or another... I really don't think this does effect me. So who should I choose? I'm sure all three candidates are good people. I'm sure all want to do the best job they can, and better the children. None of their names set off any alarms in my "Dateline: To Catch A Predator" TV show memory. So how should I vote? Do I go the old fashion "inny minny minny mo" route? Do I choose the coolest sounding name? Do I go with the least OR most syllables? Or, since I don't have a dog in the hunt, do I just leave well enough alone?
I think this is a waste of tax payer money
I've reached out to Yakima County Auditor, Charles Ross, just to get an idea how much we spend on making and mailing out the ballots. This is what he had to say:
The postage cost of returned ballots is roughly 60 cents each, as of yesterday we had 13,889 ballots returned so we have spent just over 8,300.00 so far.
The postage cost to send out the 89,386 ballots is roughly 15,000.00 but changes as new voters register.
The postage cost for sending out the voter guide was 8,000.00 as one went to each active voting household.
Disclaimer.. these are quick estimates as we have not completed this election and the costs change as we receive and send out election related materials.
I did so, because I'm curious, considering the low turnout rate, how much of that money is technically wasted, looking at his rough numbers he sent, not even considering the guides, I'd count that as some waste. Plus, wouldn't it technically save money if this one question, could have been tacked on to surrounding districts? Or even have the term time frame changed, so it could line up and be included on future ballots? I just know, for this election day, I'll complain & probably sit it out, if for no other reason, to help my postal carrier keep his bag a little lighter.
A big THANK YOU to Charles Ross for his speedy reply on what is one of his busiest days of the year. Also, the views and opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not
necessarily reflect Townsquare Media!