Extra primary expected to raise election board costs

Staffing, supplies and services needed for two required primaries in the spring led to the Auglaize County Election Board’s request for $100,000 more in its 2012 budget.
“Hopefully it won’t be that much,” Auglaize County Elections Board Director Carolyn Campbell said.
The increase to $360,973 is 38 percent more than the board’s budget this year.
“Cut it where you will and we’ll work around it,” Campbell said of the budget.
Specifically, increases requested included an additional $43,600 for a total of $87,600 for poll workers, $19,000 for a total of $44,000 for supplies, $3,000 for a total of $15,000 for software, $31,000 to $56,000 for contract services, and $3,500 for a total of $10,000 for advertising and printing.
Salaries were set to stay the same until Auglaize County commissioners make a decision on what they are going to do with cost of living adjustments across the board in county departments.
Campbell said they did plan for some increase in the salary line item to pay for extra help needed because of primaries planned in March and June.
Campbell said the increase needed for the extra help could be between $4,000 and $6,000 and did not include increases in wages, but in addition to the primaries, they also are expecting the need to hire people to help with all that board member Larry Fledderjohann, who is experiencing health problems, has done for years at no cost to the board.
She said more absentee ballots being cast takes more people to process them as well.
“I hope we won’t have to do training but you never know what the state is going to require,” Campbell said of other possible expenses in 2012.
In addition to more personnel needed for an additional primary, Campbell said it also is expected to increase supply, equipment and contract service costs to prepare and print the ballots, pay rent for buildings to use for the primaries, and pay to program equipment and possible repair costs from all the wear and tear.
“One thing that is kind of concerning me is the time frame between the two primaries,” Campbell said. “We try to do a lot in house to save money but it may have to be farmed out, which is more expensive. We try to do as much as we can but we may not be able to do as much.”
Campbell said the county should be reimbursed for the extra primary, but how and when that will happen is still unknown.
“We should get pretty much all of it back for the June primary,” Campbell said. “They are supposed to cover everything we send a bill for, so they say now.”