Special election may cost Utah County $500,000

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The special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz will cost Utah County an estimated $500,000, according to Utah County Auditor Bryan Thompson.

Thompson said the exact cost won’t be known “until all is said and done.”
MOLLY RILEY
Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 13, 2016. Because of Chaffetz’ resignation in June, Utah will hold a special election on Nov. 7, which is estimated to cost Utah County taxpayers $500,000. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

The cost estimate for the state has increased because the election needs to reach areas that would otherwise not hold municipal elections.

Thompson said an election usually costs around $3 million statewide and referenced the 2007 special election regarding the school voucher issue, which he said cost around $3 million.

He also said most of the 3rd Congressional District falls in Utah County. When the election became federal, voting locations were required to provide equipment for disabled voters, which adds to the cost of the election.

Determining the exact cost of a special election is difficult because many levels of government help run and pay for it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website.

The money will come from Utah taxpayers.

BYU political science professor Kendall Stiles suggested voters use the website Ballotpedia to learn about the candidates.

“The big thing to look for now is who was endorsed by whom,” Stiles said.

Stiles said he does not think students know the special election will cost the county. He said he is not sure himself about the cost or the impact of it.