Correction: What Do Elections Cost?

I recently wrote elsewhere that:

  • A good audit costs $.25 to at most $.50 per ballot cast – (less than the cost of one mailing by a candidate or one of those newsletters from our state representatives and senators)
  • The costs of running an election is over $3.00 to $20.00 per ballot cast
  • Candidates spend $millions of our money to get our votes
  • Special interests spend $millions more, some say, to get their votes
  • The costs of the wrong candidate being elected involves innocent lives and millions in Connecticut, $trillions in Washington, and thousands of lives in war
  • The value of integrity and confidence in our elections? Priceless

Apparently the $3.00 per ballot cast may be way low for Connecticut.

I used the figure from a talk a the Post-Election Audit Summit that was $3.30. According to an an <article in the Stamford Advocate>, it seems that costs are a bit higher in Connecticut, perhaps as much as $20.00 per vote cast in past primaries. Calculations are not exact but one town in the attached article spent $65,000 ($90,000-$25,000) in a past primary for 3,000 votes. This time it might be a bit less for the combined Presidential Primary which is estimated at $90,000 which does not include most of the costs of op scan which are being paid by Federal Funds.

It is likely that primaries with low turn-out are more expensive per vote than municipal elections, which are likely more than Federal elections with high turn-out.

Even though the cost of printing ballots is covered by Federal dollars, registrars point out that this cost will become an obligation of towns. But how much does it cost to print ballots? Apparently according to a <study by New Yorkers for Verified Voting> the costs can be as little as $0.09 if done by government and closer to $0.30 for moderate size towns. (A tip of the hat to Deputy Secretary of the State Lesley Mara for sending us a copy of the NY study)

Update: Another <story in the Daily News>: $22-25 million for the NYC primary, 3 million voters, if they turn out at 50% we have about $15 per vote cast.

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