Monday, November 3, 2014

10,000-Plus Early Voters Have Cast Ada County Ballots

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Officials at Ada County Elections tell Boise Weekly that more than 10,000 residents showed up at their offices to cast their votes early. Early voting ended at 5 p.m. Oct. 31. And now, election officials have worked through the weekend in preparation for Tuesday's big day.

"We'll have about 200 to 250 people there on election night," Phil McGrane, chief deputy Ada County clerk, told BW as part of a Citizen profile in our current issue. "You won't see people's purses. You won't see water bottles on the table. And all of the pens have green ink because our machines can read that differently."

But don't think that Ada County Elections employs that many people. The overwhelming majority are temporary employees, many of whom have returned for multiple years.

"We have eight full-time people year-round, but have a huge temporary labor force," said McGrane. "We break down our election night system into manageable chunks. It's a lot like Henry Ford's assembly line. Rather than teach everyone to do everything, we teach discreet tasks to make sure of the accuracy."

McGrane said in 2012, Ada County sent in an internal auditor to review that accuracy.

"She went through everything, from the custody of the ballots to the actual count. And we came through the audit very well," said McGrane. "Ballots are not too different than money. They're fairly sacred."

As for the future, McGrane hinted that Ada County Clerk Chris Rich would like to see more early voting locations around the county. 

"We recognize there's a demand for it," said McGrane.

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