Clallam taxpayers will have to shell out more than $6,000 for ballot recount

Peninsula News Network

Clallam County, WA - 1/3/05 - It won’t cost quite as much as first feared, but Clallam County taxpayers will still have to shoulder several thousand dollars in expense for the hand recount in the Washington Governor’s race.

Democrats came up with $750,000 to pay for last month’s hand recount to settle the contest between Christine Gregoire and Dino Rossi. But because Gregoire won based upon that recount, it meant taxpayers are responsible for the cost of the operation. And because this was an “even year” election, it is the local counties and not the state that must pay the tab.

Auditor Cathy McKeown tells PNN the final bill for Clallam County was $6,277 dollars. That’s a little less than the $10,000 to $15,000 she had predicted before the hand count started.

But exactly where will the money come from? Of course no money was budgeted for the recount, but McKeown says she was able to cover the unexpected expense by tapping into personnel funds. The Auditor’s office filled the position of Chief Accountant in May, and McKeown was able to use 4-months of that salary to cover the cost of the recount. Still, she says that was money that came out of county funds and could have been used for something else.



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