Of all the costs associated with the 2016 presidential election, perhaps none are bigger than the prices we’ve all paid in terms of the loss of dignity and common decency, as well as respect for our political process. Of course, there are other, more quantifiable costs, such as the $300+ million spent by candidates who ultimately lost in the primaries, and billions spent by the campaigns for the two major party winners, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But what about the expenses rung up while actually holding the elections? Here’s a look at some of the numbers that give an indication of the costs incurred by American businesses, local governments, and voters themselves every Election Day.
1-3 Number of hours that employers are required by law to give workers off in order to vote in the majority of states, according to info gathered by HRLegalist.com. The rules vary widely, though, and often only require time off if the local polls are not open before or after the worker’s shift. Sometimes the employee must give advance notice too: In New York, for example, workers who give the boss a heads up are entitled to up to two hours off work, paid, if the polls aren’t open for at least four hours before or after your shift. The requirement is hardly universal, mind you. There are no voter leave laws in Washington, D.C., and 19 states.
… 200 Number of miles some Native American tribes must travel round trip in order to vote on Election Day because that’s how far the closest polling station is. A judge recently rejected their request for a more convenient location to vote. (It should be noted that it is also possible for tribe members to vote by mail ahead of time.)
350,000 vs. 21,000 Total number of extra miles that must be traveled by African Americans and whites, respectively, for North Carolina residents to get to their nearest voting station after the state’s election boards moved their locations in 2014. Research indicates that overall, “the cost of traveling to reach a traditional voting site is associated with nonvoting.”
$75 to $400 The range of per-person costs associated with voter ID laws around the country. ProPublica reports that 36 states have some form of these laws passed to combat voter fraud in effect. But critics say the laws place an undue burden on voters, and wind up suppressing votes from being cast by the estimated 11% of the voting population without photo ID. The price of a birth certificate generally required to get a photo ID ranges from $8 to $25, and one study estimates that when everything is tallied up—including transportation costs and various ID prices—affected individuals incur costs of $75 to $400.
Full Article: How Much Election Day Costs the Country—and Voters | MONEY.