About the Uniform Polling Hours Law
In 1983, the Legislature passed the Uniform Polling Hours Law, which mandated that cities and towns open polling locations for 13 hours (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on state and presidential primary and general election days rather than the previously required 10 hours (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Recognizing that this would be an unfunded mandate on these communities, the Legislature also included language in the bill directing the State Auditor to certify the added poll operation costs communities face to provide these three (3) additional voting hours. These costs are mostly attributable to wages to staff polling locations for these additional hours, but also may include other expenses as well. Based on this certification, the Secretary of the Commonwealth provides funding to communities to offset their expenses. Since 1984, the Office of the State Auditor has certified approximately $30 million for direct state payments to cities and towns for this mandate. Use the dashboard above to see how much money this law has helped to return to your community to fund extended polling hours. Please note that there are several factors, including changes in the number of polling places and precincts in operation due to increases or decreases in population, for example, that explain biennial fluctuations and differences in certified amounts among communities.
|Date published:||September 5, 2019|
|Last updated:||September 5, 2019|