Sample ballot mailer appreciated

Over the last week, my office has been on the receiving end of some negative comments about the sample ballot and voter information mailed via the USPS to the 90,500 households in Linn County. As usual, some of my opponents are trying to score points with various people by portraying that this mailer was a bad idea.

The facts are:

1> A bunch of people decided to NOT read and/or did not comprehend the letter that accompanied the mailer with instructions about the sample ballot;

2> A bunch of people either did not see or ignored the word SAMPLE printed on both sides of the sample ballot;

3> About 4,000 voters returned absentee ballot request forms (ABRF) to us from our mailer, who either ignored the ABRFs from candidates and PACs, or never received ABRFs before our mailing; and

4> About 20 voters who returned the ABRFs were not registered to vote so we reached out to them to get them registered to vote.

Could we do better? Yes. The next time we will:

1> Ensure the word SAMPLE is much darker on the sample ballot;

2> Insert postcard size ABRFs into the mailer instead of providing envelopes; and

3> Print the sample ballots on colored paper.

My apologies to any voter who did not understand that the sample ballot was NOT an official absentee ballot to be voted, and returned it to us. The preceding three items should reduce the chance of that occurring again.

My apologies to any voter who did not understand what we wrote on the letter included in the sample ballot mailer. We are open to suggestions on the wording.

Overall, the sample ballot mailer has been a great initiative by Election Services and one that I may repeat again in the future.

The hand written note in the attachment reflects our intent. It reads, “I appreciated getting the sample ballot. It is nice to see everyone who will be on the ballot before entering the booth!” – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Sample ballot appreciation 10-8-2018_Redacted.pdf

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