Voters in Douglas County, Kansas, will no longer have to pay postage to mail their advance election ballots. Advance ballot envelopes will now be marked postage paid, and a voter will be able to drop the return ballot in the mail without a stamp. Previously, voters had to affix one first-class stamp to return advance ballots by mail.
“Our job is to identify and remove potential barriers to voting. As mail advance ballots have increased so has potential confusion about how many stamps are required for returning the ballot,” Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said.
The 2019 election will be the first time postage will be paid for returned advance ballots. The Douglas County Clerk has budgeted for this initiative to continue for all upcoming elections. For the largest elections, the office has estimated a cost of between $10,000 and $13,000.
“We were exploring purchasing additional drop boxes to address postage confusion and realized the cost would better spent just providing the postage for voters,” Shew said.