Updated 06/26/2012 06:56 PM
Extra primary costs extra money
Voters in several newly formed congressional districts cast their ballot in Tuesday's primary. A judge ruled earlier this year that the primary must be moved up to June in order to allow more time for overseas military ballots to be counted. But as our Melissa Kakareka tells us, the earlier date, combined with recent redistricting, yielded a low turnout and a high cost for many counties.
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DEPOSIT, N.Y. -- The polls were open for the Congressional Primary. But not many people even knew that voting was going on.
"A lot of people are confused, I think. They aren't aware of it. I talked to four people today and they didn't know today you had to vote," said Deposit voter Harvey Decker.
In fact, many voters in Deposit were unsure who was even running in their district.
"I wasn't familiar with the people who were voting, but I got a request from a friend to vote for the person I voted for," said voter Helen Parsons.
"All I got was literature, web sites to go on, that's it," said Decker.
Recent redistricting combined with an earlier primary date caused turnout to remain low in many places across the state, including areas of Delaware County. Unfortunately, lower turnout doesn't mean a lower cost.
Tuesday's primary was one of several elections being held this year and officials say it is causing them to spend extra money.
"We are obviously spending additional money. I'm not sure I could tell you what the cost is off the top of my head, but I'm sure it’s at least $30,000," said Delaware County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner William Campbell.
That's because each location must pay for the expenses of holding an election, regardless of voter turnout.
"Whether you have a large turnout or not, whether you have many offices to fill or a few offices to fill, you go through the same expense: Taking the machines to the site, picking machines up from the site. You have to send poll workers at every site in every district," said Campbell.
Making the cost of the extra primary larger than the number of votes cast in many places.