February 22, 2013 - A Costly Special Election for SLO

Title: A Costly Special Election for SLO
Source: Central Coast News – KCOY (http://www.kcoy.com)
Posted: Feb 22, 2013
By: Leah Masuda

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif- The city of San Luis Obispo has decided to hold a special election projected to cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. Wednesday the city approved 100-thousand dollars for the special election. During regular elections the county clerk recorder assists all cities, in this case the city will take on all those jobs.

The city paid 65-thousand dollars for consultants, or election experts and 10-thousand of that will go just towards postage for the ballots. "Preparing the nomination papers, the ballot papers, the sample ballot and voters pamphlet that will be mailed out, the mailing of those ballots and the processing on that end to get them to the voters," said San Luis Obispo City Clerk, Maeve Kennedy Grimes.  

Mayor Jan Marx said the council agreed on an election because there were several candidates who were looking to be appointed and they wanted the community to make the decision but it comes at a cost. "About 21-thousand in other costs, those costs would be bringing in additional help for the city clerks office, since we are a very small office and we need to continue doing all our other work at the same time," said Grimes.  

Which comes out to roughly 85-thousand dollars of general fund money. The city has also agreed on a vote-by-mail election. "You get a higher voter turn out and voter participation, it is really key to a good democracy," said Grimes.  

For candidates hoping to fill council members Andrew Carters position there are two requirements. "One is that you are a registered voter within the city limits and that you have been registered for at least 30 days prior to the election," said Grimes.  

Key dates:
February 25 - March 22 - Filing period for nomination papers and candidates statements
May 20th - Vote by mail packages go out
June 3-  Last day to register to vote
June 18 - Election day

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