Dollars And Votes: Breaking Down The Cost Of The September 10th Special Election

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We're just a week away from Madison County's special election to decide on combining the tax collector and tax assessor offices into a revenue commissioner position.

Proponents say it will save money, but the price tag for the special election alone is pretty steep.

Madison County Probate Judge Tommy Ragland says this special election should cost around $300,000.

Getting all those voting machines out there costs money.  For one, Ragland notes the county doesn't own them.  The machines have to be rented from a private company, the ballots purchased from them as well.

County workers will have to deliver the ninety-two machines to seventy-five polling places as well as pick them up.

Plus, Ragland notes, "The law says we've got to have four workers there per machine."

He adds the workers manning these machines make between a $150 and $200 for the long day they'll put in.

Also, county employees have to contribute to the effort to make sure we get an honest result, from the elections director to the county's attorney.

Ragland says part of their salaries get counted in with the cost, even though they're just doing their job, same with law enforcement, "The sheriff's department assigns a couple of deputies that are available at the Grant building, where they can go out if there is some type of problem that comes up."

So the machines spit out an election result, but also create quite an expense, though it may not be as immense as it seems at first glance.

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