Legislative panel briefed on general election costs

Rep. Lynn Bechler, R-Marion, asks how the estimated cost to run November’s general election compared with prior presidential elections. A high-res copy of the photo can be found here.

Frankfort – Kentucky’s top election official is estimating $5.42 million in cost overruns associated with running November’s general election.

“I know that is a lot of money, especially right now, but I believe that is a bargain for a successful presidential election held during a pandemic,” Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams said while testifying before today’s meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations & Revenue.

Adams said the overruns would have been greater without $4.5 million in federal relief aid leftover from May’s primary.

Rep. Lynn Bechler, R-Marion, asked how the estimated overruns compare to prior presidential elections. Adams said it historically costs Kentucky $10 million to run an election. He said the extra expenses associated with the upcoming election range from $4 million to cover postage for more absentee ballots to $500,000 in miscellaneous costs, including the purchase of 1.2 million ink pens for one-time voter use.

Rep. Wilson Stone, D-Scottsville, asked when results of the general election in Kentucky would be released. Adams forecasted Kentucky would have 75 percent to 80 percent of the votes counted on election night. He added that results would come in quicker than during the primaries because of more in-person voting and additional processes to speed up the counting of absentee votes.

“We are not going to have final results election night,” Adams said. “They are going to be unofficial ... but it will be enough for us to project some outcomes and give some finality to the candidates and voters.”

Rep. Myron Dossett, R-Pembroke, highlighted a mobile voting precinct in Hopkins County as a creative way clerks are engaging voters. Adams added other clerks plan to offer drive-through voting.

Sen. Michael J. Nemes, R-Shepherdsville, asked when voters will be notified where they can vote. Adams said he is still waiting for some of the larger counties to submit plans, but his goal is to have all voter locations finalized by Oct. 1.

McDaniel praised Adams’ efforts in recruiting younger poll workers. He said the average age of poll workers in Kenton County, where he lives, has traditionally been over 75.

“Thank you for acknowledging our success at getting younger poll workers,” Adams said. “I testified to the Interim Joint Committee on State Government last November ... that we had a poll worker crisis in our state. This is not a Kentucky-unique problem or a pandemic-unique problem.”

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

House Bill 574 changes future Kentucky elections

Some of the changes that were made to make the 2020 election feasible during a pandemic are now here to stay as law thanks to House Bill 574. The Bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Beshear on Apr