VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Volusia County’s Elections Office looks like Santa’s Workshop right now, except the elves are staffers and volunteers and the gifts are envelopes stuffed with mail-in ballots on a propose half cent sales tax.
It’s a unique special election process in Volusia County.
“We have done a couple mail ballot elections for a few small cities, but as a county-wide endeavor, no. This is a first for Volusia County,” said Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis.
“It is a little less money to do it by mail.” It’s $70,000-$80,000 less than doing a special election with polling places and so “we will be ready.”
This is quite the operation they have here. It's like an assembly line of stuffing in this room and then when you come into this room, we've got people doing postage and some sorting. They say the only thing that this is all missing is a conveyor belt.
“It's like a round robin. We just keep going like this.”
With nearly 400,000 registered voters in the county, this is no small feat.
“You have to pull the correct ballots for the correct envelopes to be mailed to the correct people,” said Lewis.
In ten days, with 20 to 25 people each day, they’ve stuffed, sorted and done postage for about 290,000 ballots. All of the ballots will be mailed out May 1st and are due back to the office by May 21st. These same folks can count the ballots.
Luckily, “opening them is a lot easier than putting them together.”
They’re hoping that mailing home ballots will make the election more convenient for voters.
“We're hoping with this one, we may get a higher turnout.”
And that may just be worth the work of Santa’s elves.