He may no longer be in Congress, but Trey Radel may still pass one more bill for the voters of Southwest Florida. The special election to replace Radel, who resigned for his cocaine scandal, is costing you the taxpayer more than $1.5 (m). Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Sharron Harrington, says she could have saved the taxpayers money if the state legislature would consider some new ideas. Harrington wants to have the option to do “mail only” for special and municipal elections. Trey Radel’s resignation will cost the voters of Southwest Florida one million dollars, according to Harrington. Collier County had to shell out another $500,000 to cover their expenses.
Florida: State’s new estimated cost for special elections: $2.1 million and growing | Naples Daily News
The state’s total cost for special elections has increased from $500,000 to $2.1 million, according to state budget staff. When a special election is needed, local election officials pick up the initial cost. After a verification process, the state is required to reimburse local supervisors of elections for the cost needed to conduct those elections. When the Department of State made its initial budget request in January, it thought $500,000 would be enough to cover the tab. It’s the same number requested in Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget. The House’s proposed budget has requested $2.1 million in already needed reimbursements, while the Senate wants $2.6 million for any potential future special elections.
Seven months after Gov. Rick Scott announced a new purge of Florida’s voting rolls, county supervisors of elections are still waiting for the state to provide them with lists of suspected ineligible voters. The purge isn’t on hold, the state just isn’t in a hurry. “We do not have a set timeline to start the proposed process,” Florida Department of State spokeswoman Brittany Lesser said Friday. Meanwhile, midterm elections and Scott’s bid for a second term approach. It’s too late for such a purge to affect Southwest Florida’s special election to fill Trey Radel’s congressional seat. Radel resigned Jan. 27 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession and serving a stint in rehab. Ineligible voters would have to be removed by 90 days before a federal election, according to federal law.
U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., caused a commotion after word got out that he had been arrested in Washington, D.C., at the end of October for possession of cocaine. Radel was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was sentenced to one year of probation. Radel could have faced a maximum of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Shortly after news of his arrest hit, Radel issued a statement apologizing for his actions. … Although Radel said he needed help, he did not mention resigning from the House in his statement. But his arrest could ultimately prove problematic for Radel, who has been in office for less than a year.