Special Election Will Be Costly

By Brien McElhatten

June 18, 2010 Updated May 19, 2010 at 6:18 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Governor Mitch Daniels must name a date for a special election which will name Mark Souder's interim replacement. That special election however, will cost taxpayers.

The Third Congressional District is compromised of eight counties. Each one must foot the bill for their portion of the special election.

Here's the breakdown:

Allen: $275,000
Kosciusko: $50,000
Noble: $26,935
Steuben: $40,000
Elkhart: $35,000

Total: $426,935

Indiana's NewsCenter has been unable to reach officials in Dekalb, LaGrange and Whitley counties by press time, but experts suggest the cost of the election could reach $1 million.

Costs include ballot and booklet printing, paying pole workers and transportation costs associated with moving voting machines.

Paying for the Election

Many county election officials will have to ask for emergency funds to pay for the special election. Some may use funds for the general election to pay for the special election, then approach county council members later asking for funds to pay for the general election in November.

State and federal official confirm Mark Souder's campaign money could be used to offset the cost of a special election. He has not yet indicated any plans to do so. Officials with the Federal Election Commission say Souder's campaign funds stand at $156,331. Souder may also donate the funds to non profit organizations or political parties of his choice.

An Alternative Plan

Steve Shine, Chairman of the Allen County Republican Party tells Indiana's NewsCenter he is asking party and state officials, including Governor Daniels to hold the special election during the general election on November 2nd.

Voter would chose a candidate to fill Souder's role until January 2011, when another candidate, or the same one, could begin a new two-year term in the House of Representatives.

That would mean the Third District would go unrepresented for nearly six months, but Shine says legislators will likely not vote on any major issues until after the November elections.

Congress is also on recess for much of the summer.

The move would give Republicans time to choose and market their candidate, a luxury they won't have if a special election is called in July or August.

Stay with Indiana's NewsCenter as this story develops.

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