Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Counties Bear Cost of Additional State Primary

Written By: Renata Stiehl

Counties Bear Cost of Additional State Primary

NY Election Costs
    ELMIRA (WENY) -- New York may hold as many as three primary elections this year, and a lot of counties are wondering how to pay for it.
     The state's presidential primary is scheduled for April 26th, and congessional primaries have been moved up to June 26th, to be in compliance with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. There's another primary for state offices in September, if state lawmakers dont vote to move it to June.
     Counties don't get federal or state money for elections. The Chemung County Board of Elections doesn't have an additional $60,000 in its budget to pay for a third primary. And that's not the only issue.
    "Well first of all, obviously, it's financially ridiculous. Second of all, the more elections you have out there, the lower voter turn out you're gonna have... and they're just primaries, which are low turnout anyway," explains Mary O'Dell, Chemung County Board of Elections Deputy Commissioner.
     O'Dell also says elections are more expensive these days, because it costs more to operate the new electronic voting machines. The price of the new scanable paper ballots alone has more than doubled.