Gubernatorial recall election, primary cost $13.5 million - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Gubernatorial recall election, primary cost $13.5 million

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VERONA (WKOW) – Wisconsin officials say initial reports show the recall election and its primary election cost taxpayers about $13.5 million.

In January, the Government Accountability Board estimated an election to try to recall Gov. Scott Walker would cost at least $9 million.

That sparked debate between Democrats and Republicans about whether or not it was worth it.

After overseeing the elections and collecting information from each municipality and county, GAB says the recall primary cost local taxpayers $6.3 million and the June 5 recall election cost them $7.2 million.

Clerks, like Kami Lynch in the city of Verona, say a big part of that was hiring extra poll workers.

"We tried to gather more throughout the year to be prepared and more people became more interested, so we had plenty and that was our biggest cost," Lynch says. "But really, election workers are priceless for all that they do."

GAB says clerks invested more than a million dollars in training for poll workers.

Lynch says Verona tried to offset the cost of 30 additional poll workers during recalls by not paying them for training.

"Other big costs were postage for absentee ballots because we had over a thousand of those for just the recall election alone."

Even though Lynch just started her position as clerk last November, she says she's gained plenty of experience with elections in that time.

"It has definitely been a learning experience, and I feel like I have elections under control since I've been through so many already."

She says things haven't calmed down that much as they now gear up for the presidential election in November.

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