Down-ballot in primary elections?

I vote every time, and ballots seem to show up in my mailbox a lot (i.e., state and county elections). I don’t remember: In a presidential primary election, are there other issues to vote on on the ballot?

It doesn’t look there are in Washington. The presidential primary is in March, and the regular primary is in August.

Thanks. Any ideas about Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina?

Where I live in northern California we always have other voting items on the ballot during presidential elections. I would be surprised if we didn’t. (And I’m an election precinct worker.)

The OP’s question was about presidential primaries not regular elections.

There’s not going to be any one answer to this: It’ll vary from state to state. But it’s certainly not uncommon for any given election, even a primary, to have other elections (for offices or referenda) on the ballot.

Since the last presidential election, California has moved their presidential primary from June (one of the last states) to early March. I expect that they had other, down ballot, primaries at the same time. Did they move those other primaries to the same date, or are they going to have two primary elections, one for president and one for all the other positions?

BTW, as I understand it, California is going to all mail elections, so your position as precinct worker is in jeopardy. Well, I’m sure they’ll find some other task for you to do during the election.

California possibly going to an all vote-by-mail (VBM) system is news to me. It’s possible. Humboldt County would love to be an all-VBM county. So I can easily imagine all counties wanting do so.

But the fact remains that in the elections I’ve participated in, for better than 13 years now, have always had County or State issues on the ballot, even the primaries. It costs a lot of money for a County to put on an election. They do their best to consolidate as many issues as possible in all elections.

And, BTW, if Humboldt County goes all VBM I will be happy to never again put in a 16 hour day for $116.

San Francisco Chronicle: California counties slow to sign on to all-mail elections

Apparently, in the 5 participating counties, everyone gets a mail-in ballot, whether they want one or not. The number of polling places is cut down to a small number of consolidated voting centers. Anyone who wants to vote in person instead of mailing their ballot can go to any voting center in their county and vote in person.

It says here that the’re shooting for 2022 for the entire state to be VBM. I think several counties are already doing it and more will in 2020.

You’d think they’d at least pay minimum wage, which in California, is more than $7.25.

They’ll still have need of temporary election workers with VBM. In my county here in Oregon, they have temp workers who open ballots. They give them the gradiose title of “Election Board”, but all they do is open envelopes and stack the ballots. (Once upon a time (before computers), the Election Board were the people who actually counted and tabulated votes.) The pay is minimum wage, which will be $13.25/hour for the 2020 election and they pay overtime for over 8 hours in a day. And on big elections, they work into the not-so-early hours of the day after the election.

In Illinois, it’s a definite yes. There probably won’t be too much to vote on since there’s not a Senate race this year and there will only be token opposition to my Representative. We just had local elections earlier this year.

There are (at least in previous years) in Missouri. The primary elections are “party primaries,” i.e., not just President, but Senator, Governor, etc., all the way down to state representative. In fact, just last year, either the Legislature or Sec. of State slipped a voter initiative to repeal Right to Work onto the August primary ballot, because the Republicans reliably turned more voters in the primary elections. Both the business and labor communities were shocked when it didn’t work out as expected. Local governments routinely put tax issues on the primary ballot if there’s a concentrated enough group of voters sure to turn out.

When you say “this year” do you mean 2019? I’m an election judge in DuPage County, and I’m pretty sure there are no elections for the rest of the year.

Next election will be the primaries on March 17, 2020. (I wonder if the fact it’s St. Patrick’s Day will have any impact on turnout.) Dick Durbin is up for reelection. I don’t know if he’ll have any Democratic candidates running against him in the primary, but I expect the Republicans will have more than one contender for the seat.

I can understand them being slow – it actually costs more to do mail ballots vs. voting in person (and the state usually doesn’t provide extra money to do this).

Besides the postage cost (just that is about $1 per ballot), there are expenses in providing the ballot envelope, return envelope, security envelope, etc. Then all that has to be received, opened, checked for valid signatures, recorded on the voter roll, and then opened & run through the ballot scanner. (In Minnesota, we use paper ballots run thru a scanner to be counted.) For in-person voting, the voter does much of that work themself: they sign in front of the election judge, the ballot isn’t in any envelope (or even in anybody’s hands except the voter), and the voter themself puts it thru the scanner.

[Here in Minnesota, we do have some voting by mail. But only in some areas – the Republican-controlled legislature at that time specifically excluded the large areas that vote Democratic from doing vote-by-mail.]

In mail balloting, all that work has to be done by election workers, and under time pressure – it has to be done by Election Day. So lots of workers are needed, and work long hours near Election Day. And turnout is higher for mail balloting, so there are more ballots to be counted.

In some states, there are a small number (fourish) of election days per year, and everything falls on one of those four days. Officeholder dies or resigns? The special election to replace them is on the next election day (or the one after that, if it’s too quick to print up ballots). Something goes through the procedure to become a ballot initiative? It goes on the next election day. Primary? One of those election days. If such a state moves their primary date, it’s presumably from one of those designated days to a different one.

From all reports I’ve seen, vote by mail is less costly than traditional precinct voting. For one thing, they have to hire far less temporary staff, since there’s no longer dozens or hundreds of precincts that need to be staffed. Most of the stuff about verifying signatures and counting ballots can be automated or at least semi-automated. They also don’t have to buy lots of expensive voting machines.

And, BTW, there’s no requirement that results be released on Election Day. If it takes them until the next day or even the day after, that’s perfectly OK. The press or other members of the public may not like it, but that’s not the Election Department’s problem.

That’s a reason to do it, not to avoid doing it.