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Primary cost city about $26,000

March 15, 2001

Primary cost city about $26,000



By DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown's Tuesday primary election cost city taxpayers about $14.43 per ballot cast, according to figures released Wednesday by the Washington County Election Board.

The cost per ballot was about $1.82 less than it was for the 1997 primary. Higher voter turnout this year offset slightly higher election costs, according to election Board records.

The Tuesday primary will cost the city about $26,000, said Election Director Dorothy Kaetzel.

The city's May 15 general election is expected to cost the same amount, she said.

Including absentee voters 1,802 people, or about 11 .6 percent of the eligible voters, cast ballots in the primary.

There were 15,454 people eligible to vote in the primary, which was open only to Democrats and Republicans.

If every eligible voter had cast a ballot Tuesday, the cost per voter would have been about $1.68 each.

The 1997 primary cost the city about $25,000, or about $16.25 per ballot cast. Roughly 10.4 percent, or 1,538, of the 14,726 eligible voters cast ballots in the 1997 primary.

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Official results of the Tuesday primary election are expected to be announced today after the 92 absentee ballots are counted.

The absentee ballots could affect the outcomes of the Democratic and Republican City Council primaries.

Current Councilman William M. Breichner won the Democratic mayoral primary in a landslide.

Four candidates from each party have ensured spots on the May 15 general election ballot; they are Democratic council candidates Penny May Nigh, incumbent Lewis C. Metzner, Kristin B. Aleshire and Steven T. Sager; and Republican council candidates Carol N. Moller, Victoria K. Bodnar, Alfred W. Boyer and Richard G. Everhart.

The fifth council candidate from each party could be determined by the absentee ballots.

Democratic council candidate N. Linn Hendershot leads Ira P. Kauffman Jr. by 21 votes and Larry A. Vaughn by 43 votes. There are 52 Democratic absentee ballots.

Republican council candidate Michael E. Nehring leads fellow Republican Paul H. Toothman by 40 votes. There are 40 Republican absentee ballots.

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