More on costs of election administration

There is little systematic data (or research) on the costs of election administration, and while questions have arisen since 2000 about how much various voting technologies “cost” (both in terms of acquisition and long-term use), we just don’t have much research on these questions to draw upon …

I want to echo Mike’s sentiments here. I have an email sitting in my inbox from a state legislator asking two things: 1) does early voting increase turnout, and 2) what are the cost implications. I’m going to do my best to help the legislator, but my ability to provide accurate answers is limited.

I have a good answer to the first question, but the second remains a mystery. There is a report from the State of Oregon which shows that full vote by mail elections save money compared to “mixed” systems (systems where large numbers of voters opt for absentee ballots), but no study that I have seen compares the costs of various combinations of in-person and by mail early voting, precinct place voting, and different balloting systems.