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G.A.B. report shows cost of recall elections

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GAB Government Accountability Board

MADISON — The Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) released monetary figures on the cost to taxpayers for elections in this year. The report details the millions of dollars local taxpayers paid towards the recall elections and Presidential primaries.

The G.A.B. says they’ve gathered data from all 72 counties, and noted in their report that most election costs are paid by local taxpayers. Clerks across the state have invested over a million dollars in training poll workers so far this year. The G.A.B. reports clerks paid $655,000 in April, $161,000 in May, and $250,000 in June for training poll workers.

According to the G.A.B. press release, the April 3rd Spring Election and Presidential Primary cost local taxpayers $7.6 million. The G.A.B. reports $2.2 million of that went to poll workers wages, $1.9 million in staff salaries, $957,000 for ballots, and $771,000 for election equipment programming.

In their report the G.A.B. says the recall primary cost local taxpayers $6.3 million. $2.3 million of that was spent in poll worker wages, $1.7 million went to staff salaries, $728,000 for ballots, and $617,000 paid for election equipment programming.

The last race they offered details for was the June 5th recall election that cost local taxpayers nearly $7.2 million. $2.5 million of that paid for poll workers, $1.9 million went to staff salaries, ballots cost taxpayers $984,000, and programming cost $596,000.

G.A.B. Director Kevin Kennedy says, “Instead of conducting two primaries and two elections this year, Wisconsin election officials will be conducting six elections which added $13.5 million in unbudgeted costs.”

The G.A.B. also reports that  processing recall petitions and other election preparations only cost taxpayers $663,000 compared to the $975,000 estimation given in February.