CA counties require cash from state for primary

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 7:08 PM

This will imply a larger turnout of existing voters along with many new voters. While that’s certainly excellent news, it also creates a much larger workload for county election executive at the same time they should review millions of petition signatures from more than twenty initiatives seeking to qualify for the Nov ballot.

CA counties require cash from state for primary

For the first time in decades, it looks love California’s June primary will affect the presidential contests in both major parties. This will imply a larger turnout of existing voters along with many new voters.

While that’s certainly excellent news, it also creates a much larger workload for county election executive at the same time they should review millions of petition signatures from more than twenty initiatives seeking to qualify for the Nov ballot.

Running elections is one of the basic civic duties the state entrusts to counties. To ensure successful elections on June seven and Nov. eight, counties necessity more money immediately.

That’s why I'm gratified that the Gov and the Legislature to distribute million in extra funding so we can fulfill our responsibility to running accessible and efficient elections in every corner of the state.

Fortunately, the state’s revenues continue to be higher than anticipated. Spending some “one-time money” to assistance ensure smooth elections is a necessary investment.

Besides the short-term need, I also should mention two other serious threats facing California’s fifty-eight counties in administering elections.

First, voting equipment and technology are rapidly aging. It’s time to obtain serious about bringing election systems into the twenty-first century. I know that Padilla agrees, and I see forward to working with him, the Legislature and the Gov to distribute the long-term funding needed to purchase modern equipment that can serve voters for the next decade.

Second, there is already an $87 million backlog owed to counties for state-mandated, election-related services – with number timetable for repayment. Also, counties used to be reimbursed by the state for running special elections to fill legislative or congressional vacancies, but that reimbursement ended several years ago. These single-contest elections can cost a county millions of dollars. Counties necessity to be reimbursed for the mandated services we’ve already provided, and the state should set up a income stream to pay for special elections going forward.

In the brief term, however, we've an urgent necessity for more staffing to create sure the June and Nov elections go as planned and that the voters’ choices count. We appreciate that Padilla recognizes this critical issue, and hope the Legislature and the Gov consent and act quickly.

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