A single vote Tuesday cost taxpayers about $10 in Rockford and Winnebago County. That’s roughly the price of a movie ticket and, thanks to low voter turnout, substantially higher than the cost per vote of previous elections dating back to at least 1987.
Election costs include judges’ pay, polling place rental, truck rental, equipment, publications, support service and other miscellaneous expenses. “No matter what the turnout, good, bad or otherwise, we still have the expense to pay for all the extras that go along with the election,” said Winnebago County Clerk Margie Mullins.
The cost per vote Tuesday was about $10.49 in Rockford, where 12,521 ballots were cast. Voter turnout was just 14.5 percent in the city. The election cost an estimated $131,300. The cost per vote was $9.89 in Winnebago County, which recorded 10,392 ballots cast in an election that cost roughly $103,000. Compare that with the November 2008 presidential election, when Winnebago County voters cast 67,591 ballots. Despite the higher costs of that election, about $261,000, each vote cost about $3.86. Voter turnout was 11.13 percent Tuesday in Winnebago County.
No previous April consolidated election, dating back to at least 1987, had less than 14 percent turnout. The county clerk’s office had records available Wednesday that date back to 1987; older data is stored at an off-site facility.
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