Monmouth County officials are happy to hold a special election for U.S. Senator in October, but they would like the state to pay the costs up front. “We budgeted for the November election and the primary, we did not budget for this election,” Freeholder Gary Rich said. “We are reaching out to the state and asking if they could to fund this up front.” At their next meeting, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders will consider a resolution to request that the state pay for the Oct. 16 special election and the Aug. 13 party primaries. At issue are two elections, a primary and a special election, to fill the seat vacated by the late Frank Lautenberg. Typically, counties budget to equip and staff polls each election year, and are later reimbursed by the state. “With the special elections, the state is throwing the burden on the county, and I believe the county should be paid before them,” Freeholder John Curley said. “We’re struggling as a coastal county with all the problems from Sandy, now we’re left with towns that are devastated and the tax base is deficient.”
Because the special election wasn’t arranged until after Monmouth County passed its budget, it will have to do some re-arranging to finance the several-hundred-thousand dollar cost of two election days.
“The cost is going to be absorbed into the budget this year,” Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone said. “This would be a special emergency appropriation that would be raised through next year’s tax dollars. You receive money back from the state at the end of the year, so it would come back to neutral in the long run, but it would make it easier if we got it first.”
With the special elections, the state is throwing the burden on the county, and I believe the county should be paid before them. Statewide, the special election has a $12 million estimated cost.