Value of a vote: Lowcountry voter turnout and election cost

Your Local Election HQ

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Elections can cost candidates big bucks. It also costs our Lowcountry municipalities to hold an election. So, how expensive are local elections?

Voter turnout for local elections is often low but local counties spend big bucks earn your vote.

Think: poll workers, technicians, facilities, and election notices.

Early estimates we obtained show this year’s election cost Dorchester County $60,000. Voter turnout was just about 16-percent meaning each vote had a price tag of $3.32- the same as a small skinny vanilla latte at Starbucks.

For perspective: three times more people voted in 2018’S General Election.

Berkeley County’s turnout was even lower at 14 percent.

Their estimates show elections priced out at about $3,000 bringing each vote to $2.30.

We are still waiting on Charleston County’s numbers because of the upcoming run off.

Dorchester County

Dorchester County_394778

Election Summary

  • Registered voters: 108,676
  • Ballots cast: 18,033
  • Voter turnout: 16.59%
  • Est. election cost: $60,000
  • Cost/ Vote: $3.32

*Unofficial results

Berkeley County

WCBD - Berkeley County Government Official_407958

Election Summary

  • Registered voters: 20,979
  • Ballots cast: 3,021
  • Voter turnout: 14.40%
  • Est. election cost: $6,950
  • Cost/ Vote: $2.30

*Unofficial results

Charleston County

Election Summary

Data is still pending because of the upcoming mayoral run-off.

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