The two special elections held after the political jockeying of former Del. Joseph D. Morrissey have cost taxpayers about $134,000, according to estimates provided by local elections officials. Voters in the 74th House District — which covers Charles City County and parts of Henrico County and Richmond — have gone to the polls twice in seven months as Morrissey battled to keep his seat while serving a jail sentence and, after winning, gave up his seat to run for the state Senate. Henrico, where most of the district’s voters reside, spent about $116,000. That includes $53,000 for the January special election and $63,000 for Tuesday’s special election, which Democrat Lamont Bagby won in a lopsided contest against independent David M. Lambert.
Henrico Registrar Mark Coakley said the use of paper ballots led to higher costs for this week’s election. In April, state officials determined that thousands of touchscreen voting machines were insecure, which prompted many localities to return to paper ballots.
In Charles City, the cost was about $6,300 for Tuesday’s election, said county Registrar Catrinia Barneycastle. The January election cost Charles City almost $2,000.
Richmond spent a little less than $10,000 for both elections, General Registrar J. Kirk Showalter said.