Extra Primary in Sept. Will Cost NYC $23 Million

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A new report from the New York City Independent Budget Office tallies the costs of the unprecedented number of citywide elections this year (four) and finds that the extra primary in September will cost New York taxpayers $23 million. The report estimates the total cost of citywide elections this year at upwards of $80 million. The four citywide elections this year were April's Republican primary, Congressional primaries on June 26th, the September 13 state legislative primaries, and the November general elections. IBO blames Albany: "Albany officials could have shifted state legislative primaries to June 26 as well, but chose not to. With New York's legislative session scheduled to run until June 21, the State Senate balked at the idea of holding an election just five days later that would leave them little time to get home and campaign. So counties across the state pony up more money to cover the cost of an additional day for voters to go to the polls. For the city this meant adding $23 million to the Board of Election's budget. The funds cover expenditures such as printing ballots, transporting voting machines to the city's more than 1,300 polling sites, and paying about 30,000 poll workers." IBO notes the Republican primaries had such low turnout that the city paid an average $522 for every vote cast.

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