$pecial Election – $130.76 a vote

The Special Election to fill the remaining few weeks of the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones term in Congress was special alright.  It was probably the most expensive race per vote that the district has or will ever see.

There are roughly 488,000 registered voters in the district and the special election cost about $2.1 million dollars to hold.   That’s $4.30 a registered voter.  But when I stopped by a polling place in Mayfield Heights at 7 p.m. Tuesday, more than 12-hours after polls opened and I ran into voters 8, 9 & 10 on the day, I knew it was going to be an expensive night.

When the votes were all tallied early Wednesday morning I was right.  Of the nearly half-million voters just 16,059 people voted.  If the $2.1 million estimate holds up, that means the cost per voter was $130.76.

But hey there were 9 candidates to pick between in this Democratic Primary so there was a reason behind the special primary election which was required by law.  But no one ran on the Republican side so Marcia Fudge is basically a lock to fill out the several weeks of the remaining term.  But by law there still has to be a special general election on November 18th. (Fudge may face a challenge from an independent candidate – election officials are waiting to certify the petitions needed to get on the ballot.)  That November 18th election would be saddled with the same costs associated with the primary but with far fewer voters.   Seriously?  Another $2+ million?  For what?  I know it’s the law but when the law hits a cash-strapped region in a cash-strapped state with a $4.5 million bill something needs to be done.

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