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Running byelections cost $32.70 per ballot cast

The October byelections that saw two NDP MLAs elected in Vancouver cost $852,047 to administer, according to Chief Electoral Officer Harry Neufeld's report released last week .

The report breaks the cost down per registered voter. With 58,800 registered voters in Burrard it cost $7.43 per potential voter to run the byelection, and with 45,019 in Fairview, $8.98.

The price goes up to $32.70 per vote cast if one re-calculates the cost based only on the 26,000 people who actually voted. Voter turnout was just 23.21 per cent in Vancouver-Burrard and 26.93 per cent in Vancouver-Fairview, noted the report. That's low even for a byelection, it said.

Looked at another way, for each of the 32 days that the legislature sat between the byelection and the end of the session on March 31, B.C. taxpayers spent $26,626 to have McGinn and Herbert there.

The figure only includes Elections B.C.'s spending, not the money spent by the campaigns themselves.

Elections B.C. asked for a budget of $33.7 million to run the general election scheduled for May 12.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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