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Chattanooga voters weigh in on runoff election costs

Chattanooga voters, poll workers and administrators weigh in on the cost of Tuesday's runoff election (Image: WTVC)

UPDATE: See runoff election results here.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Chattanooga voters will pick the final two city council seats Tuesday.

District 9 incumbent Yusuf Hakeem is going up against Demetrus Coonrod, while District 7 pits incumbent Chris Anderson against Erskine Oglesby.

But it was the cost of the runoff election that also sparked voter interest.

Hamilton County Election Commission Administrator Kerry Steelman said the runoff will likely cost the city around $40,000.

"That expense accounts for election workers, legal notices, which we are required to print in a newspaper of general circulation by state law. It also accounts for expense for the audit," Steelman said.

Steelman also believes there are things the city could do to eliminate some of those costs.

"The city could potentially save money if they would hold their election in conjunction with a general election, or county-wide election, which would occur in either August or November," Steelman said.

If that is the case, that is a change voters said the could get behind.

"If it could save the city money and save the citizens time, save my time, and increase voter turnout, that'd be something I'd support," voter Nicole Abruzzise said.

Even some of the poll workers said they would be okay with changing the date.

"We're not doing it for the money," Election Official Cindy Huth said.

Even if that means taking some of that 40 thousand dollars out of their pockets.

"We're volunteers. We do get a stipend for being here, but it's not much, but we do it as a civic duty," Huth said.


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