Nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
That's how much cash-strapped District officials will have to find if they want to open all of 143 voting precincts in the city for the April special election to permanently fill the at-large D.C. Council seat vacated by Kwame Brown when he was sworn in as chairman.
The city budgeted $590,000 for the election, but the actual bill is expected to be $829,000, according to a D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics report.
The elections board has suggested opening only 16 voting centers — two in each ward — over a three-day period to bring the cost down to $624,000. That's far fewer polling stations than the 143 that typically open for a citywide election.
Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh is scheduling a public hearing for Jan. 19 to discuss the city's options. Cheh's government operations committee has oversight over elections.
The 16 proposed polling stations are as follows:
Ward 1: Banneker Community Recreation Center, H.D. Cooke Elementary School
Ward 2: School Without Walls, Duke Ellington School for the Arts
Ward 3: Chevy Chase Recreation Center, Palisades Recreation Center
Ward 4: Fort Stevens Recreation Center, Sharpe Health School
Ward 5: Turkey Thicket Rec Center, Trinidad Recreation Center
Ward 6: One Judiciary Square, Watkins Elementary School
Ward 7: Benning Public Library, Anacostia Public Library
Ward 8: Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, Douglas Community Recreation Center