South Shore: Auditor orders state to help cover the costs of three 2012 state elections

State Auditor Suzanne Bump says Massachusetts must pay its cities and towns about $2.5 million to help cover the costs of three state elections next year.

Bump’s ruling stems from a determination by the auditor’s office in 1983 that a state law requiring polling places to remain open for three added hours to accommodate voters was an unfunded mandate on local communities.

Every two years the auditor determines how much money the state must provide to help defray the extra costs.

Bump says her office certified about $828,000 in projected costs for the March presidential primary and $1.65 million in combined costs for the September state primary and the November general election.

The amounts range from nearly $250,000 for Boston to $99 for the small western Massachusetts town of Ashfield.

Brockton will receive roughly $45,000, Weymouth will get roughly $19,000, Plymouth will get about $15,000 while Hingham will get about $8,000. Pembroke is expected to get $6,000. Whitman, East Bridgewater and Norwell are expected to get a little more than $4,000 each.

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