Kruger Special Election Costs Taxpayers $1 Million

As the neck-and-neck special election to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger rages on with counts, recounts, court hearings and special “referees,” the taxpayer price tag jumped to nearly $1 million.

The New York Post reports:

Board [of Elections] officials said the initial cost to hold the election was $750,000.
That figure covered the cost of poll workers and monitors, transporting the optical-scan voting machines to poll sites, advertising, mailings and other planning and administrative costs.
But overtime costs to deal with the recount are piling up.
Between March 17 and March 31, the board reported paying $125,000 in overtime — most of it to handle the recount, sources said.
Even if only half of the overtime costs are attributed to the recount, the price for the race would be $825,000 through the end of March and nearly $900,000 for the first half of April.

The vote tallying has dragged on for more than a month since the March 20 special election. Unofficial counts put Republican David Storobin ahead of Democrat Lew Fidler by a mere two votes, and a handful of court hearings over absentee ballots may fail to put any finality to the elections; if they remain within a 0.05 percent difference, officials will recount all 22,000 ballots by hand. An allegation of voter fraud may slow the process even more.

With all that money spent, it may amount to very little for taxpayers. The district itself will be dissolved at year’s end, courtesy of redistricting. And it’s increasingly likely that no result will be determined by June, when the legislative session ends – meaning the eventual State Senator of the 27th District may never cast a vote on behalf of his constituents.

Meanwhile, Carl Kruger, who resigned in December before pleading guilty to accepting $1 million in bribes, will be sentenced this week. He faces between nine and 12 years.

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