Despite proposed budget cuts for sensitive programs such as day care centers and education, it is estimated the city will spend a total of $80 million for the four citywide elections in 2012, according to the Independent Budget Office (IBO). Each of the four elections may cost as much as $23 million, IBO states. The Republican presidential primary held in April, the first of the four elections had a small turnout. Only 5 percent of eligible voters cast ballots; the cost per vote was around $522. The price wouldn’t be as expensive if it weren’t for tight scheduling. There are usually three citywide elections per year, but a federal judge ruled that the congressional primaries in September are too close to the general election in November. Military personnel overseas would not have enough time to receive absentee ballots before the general election. Thus, a whole extra day of voting had to be added.
Having the New York legislative session running until June 21 changed the pace of the elections. The state legislative primaries could have occurred on June 26, however, since the New York legislative session will run until June 21, the state Senate felt that five days is not enough to campaign for the legislative primary. Thus, the state legislative primaries were set on Sept. 13. This extra voting day, including setting up stations and hiring workers, will cost an additional $23 million from the Board of Election’s budget.