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Maybe backroom deals by political hacks is the best way to fill a empty council seat. At least it’s cheap.

The Board of Elections and Ethics sends word that the April 26 special election for the at-large council could cost $829k, or $239k higher than the council originally budgeted.

Last time there was a special election for an at-large seat (in 1997) 25,700 people voted. If the turnout is as low this time around, that’ll amount to $32 a vote.

To cut costs, the BOEE is suggesting the city use two “voting centers” per ward instead of the traditional 143 polling places. That plan would cost $624k—still not cheap.

Two other suggestions the BOEE says aren’t feasible: consolidating traditional polling places from 143 to 71 or having the entire election by mail.

Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, who heads the Committee on Government and the Environment, has scheduled a meeting to discuss the cash-strapped city’s options. Whatever option the powers that be pick, LL hopes the city gets an exciting race for this kind of moula.