Balancing Election Costs in Hartford Connecticut

Balancing Election Costs in Hartford Connecticut

High elections cost estimates almost caused the Republican registrar in Hartford, Connecticut to cancel the town’s Republican presidential primary.

The city council had allocated $120,000 to the registrar’s office. Of that, slightly more than half was supposed to pay for the March Democratic town council race, and $54,000 was budgeted for the April Republican primary.

However, after the council election the initial estimate of how much the race cost was more than $90,000, which would have left little for the primary. But when the costs were actually tallied, the election ended up costing just under $65,000.

Hartford’s Democratic registrar, Olga Vazquez, said she reduced costs by cutting the number of ballot clerks, office temps, and people for the election setup crew.

"It was a challenge," Vazquez said. "I was caught between two hard places—satisfying the taxpayer and satisfying these candidates.”