Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cost Per Vote in A-B District 9 Preliminary Election

Incumbent Mark Ciommo yesterday sailed into a first-place win in the preliminary municipal election for Allston-Brighton District 9 City Councilor.

But challenger Alex Selvig outspent him by nearly three-to-one in the cost-per-vote metric. Selvig's expenditure of more than $26 per vote cast for him puts him in the same ballpark as mayoral candidate Michael Flaherty and incumbent Mayor Thomas Menino.

Ciommo took 3,493 votes compared to second-place Selvig's 1,353, third-place Abigail Furey's 784, and fourth-place Benjamin Narodick's 188.

Comparing these vote totals to the money spent by the campaigns as of the last reporting period (through September 4th), the candidates rank differently in the price per vote:
  • Selvig: $26.57 per vote
  • Ciommo: $9.41 per vote
  • Furey: $7.46 per vote
  • Narodick: $2.45 per vote
Of course, none of this money was directly handed to voters in exchange for their votes. The big expenditures were primarily mailings, polling, phone banking, consulting and staffing, get-out-the-vote efforts, and so on.

There were some significant expenditures in the last couple of weeks -- i.e., bulk mailings -- that have not yet been accounted for in the campaign finance reports to date, so this estimate of cost-per-vote will be revised upwards next month upon receipt of the new reports.

The A-B District 9 City Councilor expenditures compare to the city-wide costs of $26, $25, $17, and $4 per vote for mayoral candidates Flaherty, Menino, Sam Yoon, and Kevin McCrea, respectively.

Image of "Day 4 - Paying off debt" by quaziefoto provided through a Creative Commons license.

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