NewsNationalDemocracy 2018


How much did the Florida recount cost you?

Posted at 11:23 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 08:39:08-05

At least 8 million Florida ballots were counted three times, and now Scripps station, WFTX, is wondering what it adds up to in terms of cost, paid for with your tax dollars. 

We asked Lee, Collier and Charlotte county election offices for their totals. 

Lee County wrote, "We do not expect to have any information regarding the cost for the recount until January."

Charlotte County wrote, "There is no state reimbursement to counties for statewide recounts and therefore there is no record of same."

Collier County has yet to respond. 

We called FGCU Political Professor, Peter Bergerson, to get his take. He says statewide, there is going to be a big bill, "My guess it will be in the millions, ten million."

He says Florida's 67 counties probably didn't have it in their budget to cover the recounts, "It's Probably is not budgeted and subsequently, the county commissions are probably going to have to come up with the money." If county commissions don't cough up the money, he says the state legislature could decide to cover the cost. 

We asked for his best guesstimates for Southwest Florida counties, he said, " My guess is Lee county would be about $500,000, Charlotte County would be $250,000 to $300,000. Collier County will be in the $300,000  to $350,000 range."

Professor Bergerson pointed out when the margin is .05 percent or less in a race, which happened in multiple races this year, there's no way around a recount in Florida. He also says the recounts serve another purpose that can't be measured in dollars and cents saying, "The cost of the recounts is related to the sanctity of elections. It's not perfect but at least it's fair."