City councilors were told Tuesday that voter approval this fall of an initiative petition ballot question for nonpartisan races would be “extremely” costly for Tulsans because it would force the city to conduct some of the elections on its own. The nonprofit group Save Our Tulsa successfully petitioned to have voters decide Nov. 8 three questions that could make changes to the city’s form of government.
A question addressing the nonpartisan races calls for both the primary and runoff races to be held during months in which, by state law, the Tulsa County Election Board does not hold elections, Assistant City Attorney Patrick Boulden said. “It is obviously in conflict with state law and would mean the city of Tulsa would have to conduct the election in September and the Election Board would not participate,” he said.
Boulden said an Election Board official caught the problem and pointed out that “it won’t be their problem; the city of Tulsa will have to run the elections.”
The ballot question calls for a September primary and a possible runoff between the primary and November general election in even-numbered years.
Tulsa County Election Board Assistant Secretary Shelly Boggs told the Tulsa World that the state dictates the day and month each year when elections can be held by the election board, and none are held in September and October of even-numbered years. As she has told the city before, it would be up to the city to conduct the elections and “it would be tremendously expensive.”
She said that when the election board conducts a stand-alone election for Tulsa it costs between $155,000 to $160,000.
Full Article: Costly city-run elections feared | Tulsa World.