Washington County prepares for 2020 election

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA) — Washington County is preparing for what could be its most costly election year in county history.

Washington county election officials say the 2020 election is going to be a big one for many reasons.

With more people moving to the area, the number of registered voters is growing. That means more poll workers are needed.

Jennifer Price, election coordinator, says early voting is becoming more and more popular.

In fact, Price says nearly 60% of votes are cast early.

More early voting sites will be added.

The proposed budget for 2020 is $854,857.61.

It’s the highest in county history besides the 2016 election year, when new voting equipment was purchased.

However, Price says, “when we build out budget I have to anticipate runoff elections. We don’t know yet if there will be a runoff election for the primary, or if there will be a runoff election for the general election, so I have to build those unknowns into the budget. A lot of years I will ask for a large amount of money, but we return a large amount of money.”

Price says the state reimburses about 90% of the primary election.

For the general election, the county pays for 50% of it, and the other 50% is split among the cities in the county.

Poll workers are always needed for elections, and Price is encouraging anyone interested to apply early.

Right now poll workers can make $10.30 an hour, but there is a push to raise that to $11.30 an hour.

Poll workers must go through a training process.

The new election commission website is www.votewashco.com.

There you can find candidate information, early vote sites, sample ballots, and registration to become a poll worker.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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