Cost of Marshall County wet-dry special election

Marshall County voters will cast their ballots in a wet-dry election next week, but a local special election doesn't come cheap. And taxpayers are footing the bill.

The Marshall County Fiscal Court will shell out $50,000 to host a special local election. That money comes from the same fund that pays for 911, water lines, the animal shelter and more. While some projects are being put on hold to pay for it, county leaders say they can adjust for what is the taxpayers' right.

Marshall County Clerk Tim York and his staff are busy preparing ballots. He says the county deals with a different set of problems when it hosts a special local election than a normal election because it's not planned. York says Kentucky law requires a special election for the wet/dry question, but he believes the regular election day is special enough.

"If we had it on a regular election day it wouldn't cost another dime. It wouldn't take another hour of manpower. It would just be something on the ballot," York says.

Marshall County Treasurer Emily Martin says as a result, some projects in the county were put on hold. She says they've had to make adjustments to the general fund to allow for three local elections instead of the regular two elections per year, but it's the right of the taxpayers.

Randy Newcomb with Vote Yes says the tax collected from alcohol sales will offset the costs. Keith Travis with Vote No thinks it's inappropriate to charge taxpayers for this election. He says they'll be discouraged if an election like this happens every three years.

The state does reimburse the counties per precinct. Marshall County will be reimbursed about $5,000 for this election. The county has received almost 300 early or absentee ballots already.

The election is set for Tuesday, July 28.

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