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Cost of municipal election in the ballpark of what had been projected

Voter turnout this year was 40 per cent, according to Halifax Regional Municipality
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The cost of the municipal election in October in the Halifax region was in the ballpark of what city hall had projected.

A spokesperson for the municipality said Thursday the bottom line for the Oct. 17 vote was around $2.3 million, though details of expenses haven’t been disclosed.

“A staff report on the election (which will include financial information) will come forward at a later date,” Maggie-Jane Spray told via email.

Municipal staff said last year the budget for the 2020 election was about $2.3 million. The estimate was to cover such things as renting space for polling stations, hiring temporary workers, ballots, technological services and advertising.

Last summer, Spray said city hall hires about 1,000 workers for advanced polling and election day. She said then that precautions needed to carry out an election during the coronavirus pandemic were not expected to affect the budget.

A 2018 staff report said costs hooked to civic elections are covered by an election reserve fund “which accumulates over several years through annual funding contributions to the reserve.”

Money may be spent on “initiatives deemed necessary . . . to ensure critical components remain current and are in place for (municipal byelections) and regular elections,” the report said.

Voter turnout this year was 40 per cent, according to Halifax Regional Municipality.

Michael Lightstone is a freelance reporter living in Dartmouth

About the Author: Michael Lightstone

During a general-news career lasting close to 30 years, Michael LIghtstone has covered such things as politics, health matters, courts, labour issues and jazz concerts
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