Neal Kelley is Registrar of Voters for Orange County, California, the fifth largest voting jurisdiction in the United States, serving more than 1.6 million registered voters. He also serves as the elected president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO). He today issued the following statement about SB 163, which would mandate the provision to every registered California voter of a mail/in/absentee ballot for every state primary, general, or special election:
“Our Association has a ‘watch’ position on the bill. Obviously this is something we are monitoring carefully and at the same time we are working on cost estimates. We don't have full data yet from enough counties to provide an average - however - it generally costs about $2.25 on average to send out regular vote-by-mail ballots (this does not include the added cost of including sample ballot info in the ballot envelope).”
So, doing the word problem, it would probably cost around $3.6 million to provide every voter in Orange County with a mail-in/absentee ballot so they could vote from home. California has about 17.7 registered voters, as of June 2014, so it would cost around $39,825,000 to send a mail-in/absentee ballot to every registered California voter. Call it an even 40 million, or about a dollar per California resident, of whom there are now around 38 million.
You can see what the mail-in/absentee ballot voting process looks like by clicking here.