The costs budgeted for Regina’s municipal election in the fall are anticipated to be a lot higher than they were during the last civic election in 2012.
A report going to the city’s executive committee Wednesday shows a figure of $867,454.20 for this year compared to $558,000 four years ago. That’s a difference of more than $300,000.
“We are hoping for a larger turnout so we are trying to do things a little bit more responsive to what we heard after the 2012 election,” explained deputy city clerk Erna Hall.
That means more advance polls and increased communication on how to vote, she continued.
But what really makes up the largest part of the hike are a couple of one-time costs, including new election-related management software.
The price on that is $111,000 plus an ongoing $21,000 maintenance fee. Hall described how the entire process of the intake of workers and ward boundary reviews were done manually before. This software will automate that, creating efficiencies in the future.
“Although it’s a large cost up front we’ll certainly benefit from it moving forward.”
That cost has already been approved through the city’s budget. However, another big one-time cost involves new vote-counting equipment; the money for that has not yet been approved and is something city council will have to vote on. Hall said to buy that equipment would have resulted in spending $600,000. Instead, the city is opting to rent it for $107,000.
Hall said a challenge in the past has also been attracting qualified help on election day.
“What we’re putting forward is also upping the amount that we are going to pay our election workers.”
She said payment will be closer to what workers of provincial and federal elections receive.
If the report and subsequent requests are approved by the executive committee, city council would formally vote on the proposal on Jan. 25.