Special Election Funding - My9 New Jersey

Special Election Funding

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

Today is the day to go out and vote for the special senate election, where Mayor Cory Booker and Former Mayor Steve Lonegan are battling it out to in the Garden State. However, it seems the right to vote comes with an extremely hefty price tag for taxpayers.

In April, the Office of Legislative Services released an estimated cost of $11.9M for the special election. However, this number may be off because the Office of Legislative Services is not an office within the Executive Branch. Unfortunately, the Treasury, who will be funding the election, is unable to give an estimate for the cost of the special election at this time.

According to the NJ Treasury the costs for the special primary and general election will first be paid by municipalities, which will then be reimbursed by counties, and will ultimately be reimbursed by the state. The amount of the payments required won’t be known until all of the counties have submitted their bills for reimbursement.

But where is the money coming from when the final cost of the special election is determined? According to the NJ Treasury, the money will come from the fiscal year surplus, which is $303 million. The surplus is a reserve fund that can be used to pay for emergencies and other unexpected costs.

There is still some divide amongst voters about whether or not this special election was necessary or a good use of taxpayer dollars. Michael Murphy of Impact NJ and former NJ gubernatorial candidate chimed in the on the money being spent.

“The real question is what is the price of democracy? And if it’s a $12M price tag, the reality is the governor had the option under our statute to conduct this election when he did…The governor was fair and shrewd, I mean he did not want Cory Booker, I think, on the ballot with him in November ” Murphy said.

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