County to provide election services to Anoka-Hennepin district

Anoka County will continue to provide election services to Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 under a new joint powers agreement approved by the Anoka County Board.

Under the two-year contract, which runs through Dec. 31, 2014, the county will charge the district $52,540 for a regularly scheduled election and $26,270 for a special election.

According to Cindy Reichert, county elections manager, the county has provided election services to the district since 2007 and the partnership has been very successful.

“Cooperation… relieves the school district of the responsibility to dedicate and train professional staff to perform duties that happen every two years and the revenue received by the county supplements the election department budget, allowing for retention of trained professional staff from year to year,” Reichert wrote in a memo to the county board’s Management Committee, which recommended approval of the new joint powers agreement.

But the new contract has four changes from the prior agreement.

According to Reichert, in anticipation of the purchase of a new voting equipment system, a new countywide joint powers agreement was adopted for election expense allocation and this new agreement reflects that JPA, which all applies to all local governments in the county.

Election judges hired by the county will now also be paid by the county to eliminate what Reichert described as an “inefficient, labor intensive, redundant and confusing” process in which the county did the hiring, but the school district handled the payroll.

The school district will pay more under the new contract – $52,540 from $50,000 for regular elections – and will also be responsible for some itemized expenses such as printing, legal publication and payment of election judge salaries.

The Anoka-Hennepin School District Print Shop has handled printing services for the county elections department in both 2011 and 2012 and that has produced cost savings, according to Reichert.

In the new agreement, there is “explicit” language that the print shop services are available to the county elections department for all elections, even if the school district is not involved, but school district printing needs will have a higher priority than the county’s printing requirements.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]