A Northern Kentucky senator believes state and local governments in the commonwealth could save money if voters agree to move the election of the governor and other constitutional officers to coincide with presidential elections. State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, introduced a proposed constitutional amendment that would move the next election of the state’s constitutional officers from 2015 to 2016 and set the cycle for every four years after that. It would extend the current term of the governor and other statewide officeholders by one year. The Kentucky Constitution set the election of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, agriculture commissioner and auditor every four years beginning in 1895. With U.S. Senate, House and presidential races in even years, that means Kentucky has statewide elections every three out of four years.
By combining the statewide office elections with the presidential elections, McDaniel said, Kentucky could save $4 million to $5 million in the odd years and save even more for local governments. “I tried to identify areas in government that I found to be a waste and an inefficiency,” McDaniel said. “One of the areas is that we hold these off-cycle elections. I talked to the county clerks from Kenton, Boone, Jefferson and other counties, and I got how much we spend on elections. It turns out it does not cost one dime more to add the odd-numbered-year election to the even year.”
The county clerks from Boone and Campbell counties said adding the state constitutional offices to the presidential election ballot would save money without causing difficulties. Boone County would likely save the $125,000 to $150,000 it pays in a year on primary and general elections, said Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown.