2008 election cost $60K

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It cost Covington County taxpayers nearly $60,000 — or $3.75 per ballot cast — to elect a new President of the United States and a new county commission this past November.

Accounting totals released Wednesday from the Covington County Commission show the county spent $59,367.20 to hold the November general election. The majority of those costs are for the printing of ballots and other election supplies.

Sammy Glover, with the Covington County Board of Registrars, said 15,820 ballots — which include races for president and vice president and two amendments to the Alabama Constitution — were cast this past November.

“In total there were 20,240 eligible voters in the county who could have voted,” Glover said. “If you look at those figures, more than 70 percent of Covington County voted this November. That’s outstanding.”

That means the more votes that were cast, the less it cost per ballot to hold the election.

Included in the total election costs are more than $17,500 paid to poll workers for their assistance during the election; more than $2,800 to cover the rental for polling places and the electricity used during the day and nearly $4,000 in advertising costs for the printing of the voter list.

County administrator Brenda Petty said the county is typically reimbursed half of the total election costs from the state.

“The state doesn’t reimburse us for the cost of the poll workers or mileage or rent on the polling places,” she said. “Generally that money covers the costs of the printing of the ballots.”