Shutterstock

As many as 20 municipalities could face major problems come November, according to one expert.

A handful of cash-strapped cities are worried they won't be able to afford the November election.

According to a new report from Reuters, these municipalities are scrambling to pay the costs associated with manning polling places. Some have said they'll put off road repairs while transit crews work on Election Day. Others may borrow workers from other departments to help count votes. In practice, this will likely mean fewer voting precincts, shorter hours and longer lines.

Frank Shafroth, director of the Center for State and Local Leadership at George Mason University in Virginia, told Reuters that about 20 cities and counties are facing this problem. Leading the pack is Detroit. Last week, the city clerk there told the Detroit Free Press that the government could not conduct the presidential election under the latest budget:

Detroit saw turnout of about 50 percent in 2008, which many observers attributed to the $1.5 million city authorities spent on the election, along with the enthusiasm for Obama's campaign among African Americans.

This time, if elections problems contribute to lower turnout among the city's 550,000 eligible voters to 45 percent, that could mean more than 25,000 fewer votes for Obama - a number that could be the difference in a close statewide election.

City officials, for their part, have pledged to fully fund the election "even if it means making cuts elsewhere."

Photo credit: Frontpage /Shutterstock

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Tech workers sit around a table on their laptops in San Francisco, California
    Life

    America’s Tech Hubs Still Dominate, But Some Smaller Cities Are Rising

    Despite established urban tech hubs, some smaller cities are attracting high-tech jobs with lower living costs, unique talent pools, and geographic diversity.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. Two men plant a young tree in a lot in Detroit.
    Environment

    Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

    Detroiters were refusing city-sponsored “free trees.” A researcher found out the problem: She was the first person to ask them if they wanted them.

  4. a photo of a man surveying a home garage.
    Transportation

    How Single-Family Garages Can Ease California's Housing Crisis

    Given the affordable housing crisis, California cities should encourage single-family homeowners to convert garages into apartments and accessory dwelling units.

  5. Transportation

    Electric Scooters Aren’t a Transportation Revolution Yet

    New data show a staggering rise in shared dockless e-scooter use nationwide. But commuting habits have seen little change since the dawn of micromobility.