The smell of deperation is in the air. Now anti-RON forces are trotting out a sky-high $90 million cost estimate, according to Columbus Dispatch ($$$). The estimate is based on an Issue 3 requirment that local boards of election accept electronic reports. Ohio First arrived at the estimate based on data supplied by . . . wait for it . . . Ken Blackwell's office. Ding! Ding! Ding!
Needless to say RON proponents are disputing the claim, but they aren't the only ones:
But not everyone agrees that the cost estimate is reasonable. Keith Cunningham, president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials, said the $88 million estimate sounds "pretty exorbitant." He recently replaced the computer system in his office, the Allen County Board of Elections, for $40,000.Ohio First has been playing the cost card up to this point with their (untrue) charge that new boards would have unlimited spending authority. This is the first time they have tried to put a price tag on it.
The state budget office report notes that state lawmakers could require electronic filings be made at the state, rather than county, level.
If reports must be filed with the state, the analysis estimates it would cost only $2 million — the price for Blackwell’s office to hire an outside vendor to handle the additional workload and system reconfiguration. His office already handles electronic filings from statewide and legislative candidates.