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Third District Special Election Could Come With A Large Price Tag

Lee Hale, KUER

Utah’s deputy director of elections says he estimates the special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz will cost upwards of $385,000.

Justin Lee gave a cost update to lawmakers on the Executive Offices Subcommittee on Wednesday.

He said coupling the 3rd District’s special election with the municipal election dates is saving the counties more than $1 million dollars. The cost of the election without doing it this way would normally be about $1.5 million. 

“By combining it with the municipal election, estimates from the counties, and there’s a little bit of a range here — because they don’t know who will cancel elections, etcetera — [are] somewhere between $385,000 to $435,000," he said.

Besides printing and mailing ballots, the biggest cost will be organizing elections in cities and towns that did not have a municipal primary already scheduled. Lee said individual counties would be primarily responsible for picking up the tab for the special election. 

County clerks began mailing out ballots for the GOP primary this week. In-person voting is scheduled for August 15. The general election is scheduled for November 7. 

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