Using New Jersey Office of Legislative Services estimates, Assembly Democrats say that a special primary election and a special general election, as ordered by Gov. Chris Christie, will cost a total of $23.8 million. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said Christie could have saved $11.9 million in taxpayer money by having the special election on the same date as the Nov. 5 general election. The cost estimate is based on two main components: the expenses of the counties and municipalities in administering the election and the salaries of poll workers conducting the election. According to the Division of Elections in the Department of State, the costs for items such as ballot printing and postage, processing, legal advertising, polling place rental and voting machine delivery for a special election would be approximately $6.5 million.
The cost for poll workers salaries would be approximately $5.4 million, based on the number of polling places in 2013 (6,542), the minimum number of poll workers per polling place required by law (4), and the salary per poll worker ($200).
The salary cost, pursuant to current law, would be divided between the counties and the state, with the former paying $75 of each poll worker’s salary ($2,025,000) and the latter paying $125 of each poll worker’s salary ($3,375,000).
However, Christie said during his press conference Wednesday that the state would bear all the costs. He did not elaborate.