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. a photo of a tiny house in Oregon
    Design

    How Amazon Could Transform the Tiny House Movement

    Could the e-commerce giant help turn small-home living from a niche fad into a national housing solution?

  2. A portrait of Jay-Z.
    Equity

    The Roots of Jay-Z’s ‘Black Capitalism’

    Now partnering with the NFL, Jay-Z centers wealth-building in his activism, as many African Americans have before him—but without much success.

  3. Environment

    What U.S. Cities Facing Climate Disaster Risks Are Least Prepared?

    New studies find cities most vulnerable to climate change disasters—heat waves, flooding, rising seas, drought—are the least prepared.

  4. The downtown St. Louis skyline.
    Perspective

    Downtown St. Louis Is Rising; Black St. Louis Is Being Razed

    Square co-founder Jack Dorsey is expanding the company’s presence in St. Louis and demolishing vacant buildings on the city’s north side.

  5. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

×