The Mohave County Recorder’s Office has requested an increase to the cost of voter registration.
According to an Aug. 14 proposal by County Recorder Kristi Blair, the amount Mohave County taxpayers would pay to hold special elections would increase by 58 cents to $1.75 per active voter. For consolidated elections, the fee would increase by 24 cents to 64 cents per active voter. That money will not be paid by the county’s nearly-120,000 active registered voters, but from the county’s general fund.
Blair’s request was approved by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors for a public hearing last month, and the request was posted on the recorder’s website Aug. 6 to allow for a 30-day public notice. Her proposal will be heard at the Board of Supervisors’ Sept. 16 meeting.
“Our finance department did an analysis of our voter registration fees,” Blair said this week. “With increases in minimum wage and increases to postage costs, we’re just making sure our costs are being covered in running the county’s elections.”
According to Blair, the Recorder’s office now pays higher wages to its staff due to state-mandated increases to minimum wage, increases to postage cost, and the necessity of outsourcing the distribution of mailed ballots to a Washington-based company.
“This increase is minimal,” Blair said. “It’s good … it’s not too much of a change in the past five years.”
Voter registration fees have two components: A processing fee used to share the cost of running elections with tax districts that use voter registration services, and an equipment replacement fee to accumulate funds needed to replace voter registration equipment.
According to Blair’s proposal, the recorder’s office will require an estimated $50,000 for equipment replacement and maintenance costs next year.
As of last August’s midterm elections, 118,066 active voters registered in Mohave County, about 35,000 of whom resided in Lake Havasu City.
According to Blair’s proposal, voter registration fees will need to be reviewed again in 2021 to ensure cost estimates for replacing equipment and providing voter registration services continue to be appropriate.