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Fayetteville Spent $30,000 On Ordinance 119 Special Election

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- The Dec. 9 special election concerning Fayetteville’s Civil Rights Ordinance cost the city an estimated $30,000, according to the Was...

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- The Dec. 9 special election concerning Fayetteville’s Civil Rights Ordinance cost the city an estimated $30,000, according to the Washington County Election Commission.

“The biggest majority of the cost will be for poll workers,” said Jennifer Price, the Washington County election coordinator. “We had 17 polling place open. We staffed those polling places with a lot of poll workers because we knew [there] would be a heavy voter turnout. [Then there’s] the paper ballot costs and then the meeting for the election commissioners, our programming and publications.”

Most of the 17 polling locations had six to nine workers, who were paid $8.80 an hour, Price said. The poll workers each made between $100 to $130 on election day, she added, but the election commission is still calculating the final cost of the special election.

Price said it’s been a difficult election year between primaries, county-wide runoffs, the general election and new electronic polling books that required training.

“We [were] trained that voters were required to show ID,” she said. “Then three days before the general election, voters didn’t have to show ID. We [also] opened up six early voting sites this year, so it’s been a busy, hard year for us, but you I think we’ve come out with good, clean elections each time.”

Voters ended up repealing Ordinance 119 on Dec. 9. The ordinance had been passed by the Fayetteville City Council, but opponents gathered enough signatures to force the special election.

Price said any recount would have to be requested within 48 hours of the results being released and the cost would be covered by the group that wanted the recount, unless a mistake was made by the election commission.