See what the special election cost taxpayers in NC

The cost of the special election earlier this month is coming into focus as counties, one by one, start adding up the tab.

Wake County elections officials say the primary (for the state's congressional delegation and some judges) cost taxpayers about $599,000. That includes overtime, temporary staff, rentals, precinct officials, supply delivery services, general supplies, fuel, legal notice advertising, printing (ballots/pollbooks), and other miscellaneous costs.

In Orange County, the number was much lower, reflecting a smaller population. Orange elections officials report an overall cost of $76,000.

The upshot is participation was higher than expected. In Wake County, elections workers were expecting turnout to come in around 5 percent. Overall participation was 10.1 percent. Unofficial turnout for the entire state was 7.7 percent according to the State Board of Elections' website.

MORE: You can view the various turnout county by county here

The silver lining to the additional cost is that many counties had already budgeted for two primary elections. Long before the date was changed and the new special election set, many predicted there would be a separate presidential primary in North Carolina and budgeted accordingly.

The second primary was congressional (not presidential) but it proved a good move nonetheless as many boards of elections didn't have to go to their county commissioners, hat in hand, asking for more money.

On the other hand, that's money that would have gone into the coffers if there had only been one election. A federal court ruled Republicans had drawn illegal congressional voting lines after the 2010 census and told the state it had to go back to the drawing board.

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