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Leges at work

On the October 22 statewide ballot, in addition to most of the statewide elected offices up for grabs, there were also 5 proposed constitutional amendments.

All of the statewide races were decided on October 22. On the November 19 statewide ballot there is only one item – a proposed constitutional amendment.

When they vote to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, the leges decide at which election it is to be held. In this case, the leges decided to put five amendments on the October 22 ballot and one on the November ballot.

Thus all 4,258 precincts in the state must be open and staffed on Saturday, November 19. Additionally, ballots must be prepared for early and absentee voting for every precinct in the state for the November election.

Except for the single proposed constitutional amendment only those precincts where there are run-offs for seats on BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) and a handful of lege seats would have had to be opened and staffed.

The money saved by not opening every polling place in the state is State General Fund dollars that could have gone to necessary programs such as higher education and healthcare. In the latter case it could have been used to match Federal dollars.

What were the leges thinking? Obviously, they weren’t.