Hopkins Expects $2,400 More in Election Costs if Voter Photo ID Passes
The increase is about 5 percent of the total election budget for 2013.
Hopkins would pay about $2,400 more for the 2013 election if a voter photo ID requirement passes, Hopkins City Clerk Kris Luedke said.
That’s the estimate Luedke provided for a League of Minnesota Cities survey, whose results were released Wednesday.
Luedke’s figure is based on two to three more election judges making $9.50 an hour at the seven polling places Hopkins has in odd-year elections, bringing the total election-day pay increase to $2,100.
It also assumes two hours more of training per judge, for an additional $266.
(Hopkins has one more polling location during odd-year elections because of school district elections.)
That $2,366 estimate would be about 5 percent of the $45,582 Hopkins currently has budgeted for elections in 2013.
Hopkins’ estimate is roughly in line with the survey as a whole. The more than 170 cities with local elections in even years that responded reported that they’d need an average of two more election judges per polling place, with average judge pay just one penny more than in Hopkins.
“I think we’re really right in line with everyone,” Luedke said.
But Hopkins predicted lower costs than cities that have local elections in odd years, as it does. The League, which surveyed 21 of the 60 cities with odd-year elections, found that 65 percent of the responding cities would need an additional three to seven election judges per polling place.
In all, the photo ID requirement would add about $1,700 per precinct in those cities, they predicted. The cities reported total potential costs for extra election judges of about $36,000.
The cities also predicted extra costs from:
- Printing extra revised election manuals,
- Buying additional election supplies, including secure ballot boxes to hold provisional ballots that voters complete at the polls,
- Additional election judge training and supervision while processing and counting validated provisional ballots,
- Local voter education and outreach and
- Security for provisional ballots between Election Day and when voters return to present required photo ID.
Local governments have been trying to forecast the cost of a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to show photo ID ever since the Legislature agreed to put it on the ballot.
A survey Hennepin County filled out estimated that provisional ballots would have cost the county $193,150 for the 2008 election plus $44,625 in startup costs. Just this week, Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman criticized the proposal as an “unfunded mandate.”
Supporters say the requirement is necessary to ensure fair elections.
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