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Election cycle cost $400,000

January 22, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The 2008 election cycle in Franklin County cost about $400,000, some of which will be reimbursed through the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

The county spent $194,000 in the first six months of 2008 and $193,000 in the second half for election costs and voter registration, Deputy Chief Clerk Jean Byers told the Board of County Commissioners on Thursday. The information is part of a report required to receive federal reimbursements, she said.

The county is supposed to receive about $121,000 in reimbursements for maintenance of election equipment, ballot printing, poll worker training and addressing handicapped accessibility issues at polling places, Byers told the board.

The balance of the costs of running elections is paid for by the county, Byers said. That includes paying the 375 or more people needed to staff the county's 75 polling places during the primary and general elections, she said.

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Each precinct has at least five poll workers who are paid $65 to $100 on primary and election days, a figure that varies based on voter turnout at the precincts, she said. Polls are open for 13 hours on elections days.

The county received about $800,000 in 2006 when HAVA went into effect, money used to buy election machinery for each precinct, Byers said.

- Don Aines

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