The State Board of Elections endorsed a report from the General Registrars/Electoral Boards working group at their meeting on July 28. The interim report presents details of the increasing complexity and burden of election administration due to increased state and federal mandates and decreased state and federal funding.
The presentation to the board emphasized the workgroup’s desire to get Board endorsement of the report and to forward the report to the General Assembly in an effort to secure adequate funding for elections in Virginia. Two recommendations in the report with major fiscal implications counties are setting the pay scale for registrars to that of treasurers and making all registrars full-time. This move would increase costs significantly for the state and localities because the state only pays around 65 percent of the authorized salary level.
In addition, federal funding for elections is drying up as the Help America Vote Act funding for the state will likely be spent by FY 2018. The Department of Elections is dependent on nearly 60 percent of its spending from this federal source.
VACo testified at the Board of Elections meeting that it appreciates the workgroup’s efforts to shine light on the increasing complexity of election administration due to state and federal mandates and the decreasing state and federal fiscal support for federal, state and local elections.
VACo urged the state board and working group to work with VACo to ease mandates and support reinstatement of state funding that has declined for election administration. However, VACo expressed opposition to report recommendations that would add increased financial burdens to localities such as mandated pay raises with no guarantee of state funding.
Click here for the report and here to learn more about the working group.
VACo Contact: Erik Johnston, CAE