Election Study Proviso Language
(As included in the final FY23-25 Operating Budget)
$154,000 of the amount for fiscal year 2024 is provided solely for the institute to examine the costs associated with conservation district elections under current law, and the projected costs and benefits for shifting conservation district election to be held on general election ballots under Title 29A RCW. The examination must include, to the extent that the data allows:
(A) An analysis of the amount of money that each conservation district spends on holding elections for supervisors under current law, and a description of the funding sources that each conservation district utilizes to fund its elections;
(B) Information about voter turnout in each conservation district supervisor election in at least the past six years and up to the past 20 years, if the conservation district has such data, as well as a calculation of the total cost per ballot cast that each conservation district spent in those elections;
(C) A projection of the costs that would be expected to be incurred by each county and each conservation district for its supervisor elections if the district were to hold its supervisor elections on general election ballots under the processes and procedures in Title 29A RCW, including:
(I) Switching all supervisor positions to elected positions; and
(II) Changing term lengths to four years, with terms staggered such that elections are held every two years, to align with the elections for other local government officials;
(D) A projection of the costs that would be expected to be incurred by each county and each conservation district for its supervisor elections if, in addition to the changes described in (d)(i)(C) of this subsection, the conservation districts were divided into zones such that each zone is represented by a single supervisor, rather than electing each supervisor at-large throughout the district; and
(E) An overall description of potential nonmonetary costs and benefits associated with switching conservation district supervisor elections to the general election ballots under Title 29A RCW and incorporating the changes described in (d)(i) (C) and (D) of this subsection.
(ii) A preliminary report which contains any available information to date must be completed by December 1, 2023. A final report must be completed by June 30, 2024, and submitted in accordance with RCW 43.01.036 to the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate with jurisdiction over elections and conservation district issues.