Major costs for Election Day do-overs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Election season ends tomorrow, but there are already a couple of Election Day do-overs that stand to cost Florida taxpayers plenty.

State Sen. John Thrasher has continued to campaign for reelection, even though he plans to take the reins as president of Florida State University.

But that job won't be final until the Florida Board of Governors approves it on Nov. 5 -- the day after the election. So a Thrasher victory will require the governor to call a special election to replace him.

Because Thrasher's senate seat covers four counties, the cost could be substantial.

Election supervisors in Clay, St. Johns and Volusia counties told First Coast News their estimated costs are a combined $650,000. Flagler County didn't respond to multiple requests for estimates, but if their costs are in line with the others, the total cost could approach $900,000 -- more if early voting sites are required.

And Thrasher isn't the only politician requiring a special election.

Incumbent State Rep. Reggie Fullwood filed incomplete paperwork in his bid for reelection. Since he didn't initially draw a challenger, the state had to reopen the race. That new race is slated for a Dec. 16 primary and Feb. 17 general election, and will cost an estimated $557,000, according to Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland.

Based on a predicted 8 percent turnout, Holland says the special election for just the House District 13 race will cost taxpayers about $60 to $75 per vote.


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