County elections director H. Maxine Daniels estimates the tab to be about $35,000 to $40,000, comparable to when the county footed the bill for Dunwoody’s elections.
“Dunwoody’s cost was right at $33,000,” she said.
Daniels explained the bill will include the costs of ballots, administration, poll workers, warehouse and delivery staff and poll security.
Having the Nov. 6 special election go to runoffs only increased the cost to the city. Daniels said the initial election for Brookhaven’s inaugural mayor and city council was basically “a free ride” because it was held in conjunction with the general election. The Dec. 4 runoff election was a standalone election, so the city will bear all those costs, she added.
If the elections did not result in runoffs, the city would only have to pay for the extra cost to mail out precinct cards to Brookhaven’s more than 28,000 registered voters.
“Every voter in Brookhaven had to be told what council districts they were in,” Daniels explained. “So we had to mail out precinct cards… It’s roughly $13,000 to mail out cards. Whether they had a runoff or not, they were going to incur that cost.”
Daniels said Brookhaven has two years to pay back the elections expenses by law.
“We’ll bill them as soon as the election’s over, and they pay us any time within the two-year time frame,” she said.
Daniels added Dunwoody paid its bill to the county in roughly less than six months.