Recall elections will cost municipalities, taxpayers

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MEQUON -- While the candidates spent one last day stumping for votes on recall primary election eve Monday, some cities are trying to figure out how to pay for this recall election!

Many municipalities are dealing with two more elections this year than they budgeted for. Many communities planned their budgets months before the recall became official, and are estimating thousands of dollars will be spent in ballots, training and worker costs.

The City of Mequon says they'll be dipping into a contingency, or reserve fund to pay for elections, and they're not alone. Mequon's estimated cost for the recall primary is $20,000 and more than $40,000 for both recall elections.

The Village of Whitefish Bay. Deputy Clerk Kayla Chadwick says they set their budgets back in November. "Over $14,000, is what we're going to spend on this, and I would anticipate in June we're going to spend more than that," Chadwick said.

City of Wauwatosa Deputy Clerk Susan Van Hoven says the city did not budget for recall elections either, and will be using reserve funds to pay the bills.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board estimates Tuesday's recall primary will cost city governments across the state between $8 million to $9 million, and the two recall elections will cost taxpayers $16 million to $18 million.

The GAB has estimated between 30 to 35 percent of registered voters casting ballots in the primary.

Both Whitefish Bay and Wauwatosa clerks believe their voter turnout will be higher than estimated, but say they're ready for the recalls.

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