Potential new election for District 9 could cost Mecklenburg County $500,000

Published: Dec. 12, 2018 at 7:46 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The investigation into election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District is leading Republicans and Democrats to call for a new race.

According to Catawba College Political Scientist Dr. Michael Bitzer, smaller races have been re-called in the past in North Carolina, but never on the scale of a congressional race.

“This is really unprecedented for North Carolina,” Dr. Bitzer said.

A new general election would come at a hefty price for Mecklenburg County. Board of Elections Public Information Manager Kristin Mavromatis said it would be between $300,000 and $500,000.

District 9 also includes Union, Anson and Richmond Counties in our area, plus four counties east of us. Each of these counties would also have to pay.

They would open 50 out of 195 precincts, doing the same if a primary election is called, again with that same cost on taxpayers.

“The U.S. House of Representatives could intervene," Dr. Bitzer said. "That could trigger both a primary and a general election.”

Voter ID could also be in effect, impacting the timeline to train election workers.

“I’m going to have to give a whole portion on ID and that’s an expense as well,” Mavromatis said.

A potential downside of a re-do is less people turning out to the polls.

“There isn’t the big rush of everybody else on the ballot,” Mavromatis said.

She said the discrepencies will have to be greater than the number of votes in order for them to call a new election.

Dr. Bitzer says if that’s the case, it could be worth it.

“It’s about the integrity," he said. "To make sure we know legitimately who won this election. I think that’s going to be the trade-off for the price of a new election.”

Federal law also states that the primary and general elections have to be 12 weeks apart, so this would not be a quick process.

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