Since we posted earlier today on our county's lack of stickers, which are totally the second best thing about voting next to exercising your right to participate in a democracy, we have heard from several people. We have learned that neighboring counties, like Blount County and Loudon County offer stickers to their voters, meaning people have yet another excuse to move to the outlying areas of the Knoxville region. We have heard from students and others upset at the lack of stickers:
And we also received a follow-up e-mail from Cliff Rodgers, the Administrator of Elections in Knox County.
As a follow-up to our telephone conversation regarding the "I Voted" stickers, I spoke with my staff and we determined that by not providing "I Voted" stickers to Knox County voters, we saved approximately $1,512 (including shipping) for the Presidential election. To provide some perspective, for the cost of the "I Voted" stickers, we can instead pay twenty-five election officials to attend a four-hour polling place operations training class. Put simply, I'd rather spend money on training election officials than congratulatory stickers.Reasonable people can disagree about this issue, and I know that other Election Commissions across the state disagree with me; however, in my view, "I Voted" stickers are not the best use for limited taxpayer funds.Sincerely yours,Cliff
So there you have it. Are $1,512 of taxpayer dollars worth it to have stickers reminding people to vote (and commemorating the occasion)? If you think that's but a small price to pay to proudly let everyone know you voted, then let Rodgers know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, alternatively, if you think taxpayer dollars shouldn't be spent on something as silly as stickers, then let Rodgers know that too. Although, again, you really might want to wait a couple of weeks on this, since the election staff is busy with other important things, like tallying early votes and that kind of stuff ...