Twenty-one words are going to cost Missouri Counties tens of thousands of dollars.
They’re the words the legislature left out of its ballot title for the early voting proposal that will be on the November ballot. A state appeals court says early voting will happen “but only if the legislature and the governor appropriate and disburse funds to pay for the increased costs of such voting.”
Election authorities in every county who already had ballots printed, now have to reprint them and include those 21 words.
Atchison County Clerk Suzette Taylor, the president of the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities, has checked the printers who produce ballots throughout the state and has found two-thirds of the November ballots will have to be reprinted–a hard blow to county budgets this late in the year.
Her costs might be as low as $500-$1,000. But she says the big counties such as Jackson, St. Louis, and Greene could be facing $75,000 to $100,000 in unexpected costs. The state does not reimburse counties for costs of statewide elections.
Taylor calls the situation “terrible” because of the cost and because military ballots start going out today and absentee voting starts Tuesday.
The issue is expected to become the primary topic when her association meets next week.