Special election to cost Albuquerque schools $1 million
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Changes in election law are leading to a projected $1 million in administrative costs for an upcoming bond election by Albuquerque Public Schools.
The Local Election Act, which went into effect July 1, requires the district to hold a special election by mail, the Albuquerque Journal reported .
The law aims to save taxpayer money and combat voter fatigue by consolidating elections in November, so voters are called to the polls just once a year.
The law requires school elections to take place in odd numbered years together with other non-partisan elections.
The total election administration cost is estimated at just over $1 million, which the APS Board of Education discussed at Monday's Capital Outlay, Property and Technology meeting.
APS has asked the Legislature for financial support to cover the cost, according to Kizito Wijenje, executive director of Capital Master Plan, which guides expenditure of capital resources of the district.
"The extra cost is because it's a special mail-in election," he emphasized to the Journal.
Postage alone is expected to cost the district $420,000.
Joe Guillen, executive director of the New Mexico School Board Association, has previously highlighted widespread district opposition to the legislation.
Wijenje also noted the bill doesn't just affect APS but other districts across the state, too.
Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution earlier this month that asks the state to reevaluate the Local Election Act and rescind the parts of the bill that affect school district elections.
"There are serious financial consequences for the district," Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education President Steven Carrillo said.
State Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, a Democrat who co-sponsored the bill, said he is sensitive to the district's challenges, it's a transitional issue and will remedy itself when schools adjust to the new cycle.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com