A Pen For Every Voter: Kentucky Stocking Up Ahead of November

  • Pens, absentee ballot postage drive up election costs
  • State expects to almost double anticipated budget

Kentucky’s top election official is scribbling higher costs in his ledger for 1.2 million “single-voter-use” pens for the Nov. 3 general election.

All told, the general election will cost about $20 million. That’s roughly double the $10 million Kentucky usually spends on a presidential election.

Unusual expenses, including the pens, plus $4 million for absentee ballot postage will cost the state more than $5.4 million, Secretary of State Michael Adams (R) said in testimony Wednesday before a state legislative committee. The state also is receiving $4.5 million in federal election assistance. All Kentucky voters can vote absentee under a deal between Adams and Gov. Andy Beshear (D).

“I know that’s a lot of money, especially right now, but I believe that’s a bargain for a successful presidential election held during a pandemic,” Adams said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Ebert in Columbus, Ohio at aebert@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina May at tmay@bloomberglaw.com; Katherine Rizzo at krizzo@bgov.com