Minneapolis considers more election funding

When it meets Wednesday, the Minneapolis City Council elections committee will consider boosting its budget for elections.

The city clerk's office says Minneapolis needs to spend an additional $385,000 on its next election -- an increase of more than 60 percent.

The money would help the city prepare for its second election using ranked choice voting. The clerk's office would use money left-over from last year's budget to cover this year's increase.

But City Clerk Casey Carl said Minneapolis also needs to budget more for elections going forward. He says the last five years have brought a series of special elections, hand counts and recounts that all cost money.

"During each of those years, we've had contingencies. We just didn't budget for them," Carl said. "In 2008, we had to have the additional moneys for the recount in the Franken-Coleman U.S. Senate race. In 2009, we had a hand count associated with our first implementation of ranked choice voting. In 2011, we had three unplanned special state elections."

Carl proposes an annual contingency fund of $200,000. The city is still looking for ways to address other problems that cropped up in last year's election. Record high turnout meant some voters waited in line for more than two hours.

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