Mail In Only Voting Review

Town of Crystal Bay

Mail In Voting Review


The reasons for the original decision to change to Mail In Only balloting for Crystal Bay Township continue to be relevant. There are not enough years using Mail In Only balloting to make broad conclusions. That being said, two of the three Mail In Only ballot years have had record breaking voter participation. Direct Financial Cost for the Mail in Only balloting is somewhat less but not massively so, but workforce advantages are significant. 

Original Decision

The Town Board after a community discussion at the 2016 Annual meeting “motioned to pass resolution for Crystal Bay Township to become a mail only ballot precinct for all Federal, State, County and Township elections,” April 19th, 2016 at the regular Town Board meeting. Resolution Authorizing and Adopting Crystal Bay Township as a Mail Ballot Precinct for Federal, State, County & Local Elections (2016-1) is attached to this document and was signed on the 28th of April 2016. 


  • Election costs 2020: $1,274
  • Election costs 2018: $1,095
  • Election costs 2016: $1,307
  • Election costs 2014: $1,889

Clerk Logistics

The biggest challenge was finding people to be judges which involved traveling for training. Judges are needed for the Primary and the General election. Traveling to Two harbors to get the election supplies and setting up the fire hall was a challenge. Machines breaking was problematic. Having to drive the equipment and votes into Two Harbors that night directly after voting closed rain or snow. It is a lot of work for the clerk and the judges. 

Voter Participation

Registered VotersElection Day RegistrationsTotal Voting% Registered Voters Voting
1992 General2884426078%
1994 General290720870%
1996 General2832124080%
1998 General2901923977%
2000 General3194429381%
2002 General3492826570%
2004 General3394031583%
2006 General3513925966%
2008 General3504529675%
2010 General3241021063%
2012 General2984529085%
2014 General3001721568%
2016 General3081124577%
2018 General2771524383%
2020 General3111528587%

Author Notes

This Report was assembled by the Town Clerk, Colby Abazs, in January 2022 for the purpose of reviewing the effects of the change to Mail In Only balloting at the January 18th 2022 regular Town Board Meeting. 


  • The Township Quickbooks historical financial records in the Election Expense account. 
  • An interview with Debra Johansen, Town Clerk at the time of the change to Mail In Only balloting. 
  • Crystal Bay Township Minutes and Resolution of the Original Decision.

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