MAYVILLE - The Chautauqua County Board of Elections recently announced that it has billed 11 county villages for 2012 election costs totaling $5,943.06.
The itemized bills are Bemus Point, $359.97; Brocton, $577.62; Cherry Creek, $390.68; Falconer, $457.36; Forestville, $407.04; Lakewood, $759.90; Mayville, $619.98; Panama, $373.46; Sherman, $375.16; Silver Creek, $807.58; and Westfield, $814.31. The charges included all labor, ballot, voting machine and legal advertising expenses. The villages continue to be responsible for minor pre-election ads required by election law.
Celoron no longer has any election expense since moving its Election Day to November and Fredonia did not have any offices up for election in 2012. Cassadaga and Sinclairville continue to have the village clerk as their chief election officer.
"In the past, using the mechanical lever voting machine, the cost to run even the smallest of elections was about $1,000," said Norman P. Green, a 14-year election commissioner veteran. "Using in-house printing and economies of scale, we have been able to drive down the cost of elections to make it affordable for villages. We also ran the school budget elections for Ripley, Bemus Point and Cassadaga Valley at similar charge back costs."
"While other counties in New York state are not yet able to provide low cost election service to schools and villages, or even high cost service for that matter," Brian C. Abram, election commissioner, added, "We are committed to a goal of providing low cost professional election service for all elections in our county."
Chautauqua County is one five counties in the state printing ballots in-house at 15 cents per ballot. Counties using outside commercial printers pay 57 cents per ballot. The Election Modernization Act of 2005 required all schools and villages to use optical scan ballot counters, but extensions have been provided twice to the schools and villages by the state legislature due to most counties being unable or unwilling to offer county election services.