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School Board Primary Averaged $55 Per Vote

LA School Report | March 8, 2013

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With low voter turnout and sky-high spending, the cost per vote from Tuesday’s primary election — an average of $55 per vote across three districts — is pretty eye-popping.

However, the rate varied widely across the three races:

According to numbers from the LA City Clerk’s office and the LA City Ethics Commission, the per-vote cost in District 2 (East LA) was the highest, at $71 per vote — the result of low voter registration, 13 percent turnout, and the $1.9 million that candidates’ campaigns and outside groups spent.

The cost per vote was $52 dollars in the District 4 Westside race. Though overall spending was the biggest of the three races — $3 million — so was the turnout, which kept the vote cost from surpassing District 2’s.

In the East Valley’s District 6, where the race will go into a May 21 runoff, the price per vote was, comparatively speaking, a modest $42. The union did not spend any money in this race, and so spending was limited to “just” $1.3 million.

The rates come out even higher when calculated by candidate, as done by the Daily News. The campaign to elect Steve Zimmer cost $33 per vote, compared to the pro-Anderson effort’s $52 per vote.  The effort to support Monica Garcia cost about $85 per vote, and the effort to support Antonio Sanchez cost $90 per vote.

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