Clerk Reveals Price of Early Voting

According to One Estimate, Absentee Voting Cost Almost $5 Million for the June Recall

Madison, Wisc…] Each absentee voter costs Wisconsin municipal governments between $13 and $18, according to one village clerk at meeting with the Government Accountability Board on Tuesday.

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Barbara Goeckner, Village of Germantown Clerk, was part of the “Clerk Concerns Taskforce Meeting,” which was discussing recent elections with the GAB. She said it costs $13 for each in-person absentee voter and $18 for each mail-in absentee ballot.

Goeckner said she doubts many other clerks have examined the cost of absentee voting, and that government officials are always shocked when she shares the figures with them.

“About 3 years ago I calculated out staff time and how much time it took to handle that absentee ballot from the time the person comes in and votes,” she said. “On average you were spending 15 to 20 minutes for every absentee you dealt with.”

Goeckner estimates the total cost of absentee voting in Germantown for the November election was $67,000.

During the June 5th Recall Election 309,066 people requested absentee ballots. 153,854 were in person and 155,212 were by mail. That comes out to about $4.7 million for absentee voting throughout the state, using the figures provided by Goeckner.

The GAB says it is still tallying absentee ballot numbers from the November General Election.