As the neck-and-neck special election to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger rages on with counts, recounts, court hearings and special “referees,” the taxpayer price tag jumped to nearly $1 million.

The New York Post reports:

Board [of Elections] officials said the initial cost to hold the election was $750,000.

That figure covered the cost of poll workers and monitors, transporting the optical-scan voting machines to poll sites, advertising, mailings and other planning and administrative costs.

But overtime costs to deal with the recount are piling up.

Between March 17 and March 31, the board reported paying $125,000 in overtime — most of it to handle the recount, sources said.

Even if only half of the overtime costs are attributed to the recount, the price for the race would be $825,000 through the end of March and nearly $900,000 for the first half of April.

The vote tallying has dragged on for more than a month since the March 20 special election. Unofficial counts put Republican David Storobin ahead of Democrat Lew Fidler by a mere two votes, and a handful of court hearings over absentee ballots may fail to put any finality to the elections; if they remain within a 0.05 percent difference, officials will recount all 22,000 ballots by hand. An allegation of voter fraud may slow the process even more.

With all that money spent, it may amount to very little for taxpayers. The district itself will be dissolved at year’s end, courtesy of redistricting. And it’s increasingly likely that no result will be determined by June, when the legislative session ends – meaning the eventual State Senator of the 27th District may never cast a vote on behalf of his constituents.

Meanwhile, Carl Kruger, who resigned in December before pleading guilty to accepting $1 million in bribes, will be sentenced this week. He faces between nine and 12 years.

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  • BrooklynBus

    Simple arithmetic. Election costs $1 million. Carl Kruger accepted $1 million in bribes. Who should pay for election? Carl Kruger.

    • BayResident

      I’d love to agree to this, and a small part of me does, but then the whole issue of why the hell do we still care who gets elected creeps up? Even if it does get decided by June, which it won’t, whoever is elected will have ZERO impact on anything happening in the state senate. This whole thing is insane. Tax payers spent $1 million to give one of these guys (Fidler or Storobin) a new line on their resume. Nothing more.

      If somebody sees any benefit that the tax payer can derive from any of this, please do correct me. I haven’t been following the story as closely as I should, but from what I can tell, this is just $1 million worth of entertainment for those living in the district. Nobody else cares anymore, and nothing else will come of this.

      • BrooklynBus

        Storobin benefits even if he loses because he now has some name recognition for the Borough Park election which he intends to run in.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          And remember, as long they spell his name right he benefits from any coverage he gets. That’s how you build a base of supporters.

    • ES

      In the event that you are not joking, because humor often flies over my head: Even if either one, or both of the candidates committed some sort of voter shenanigans — not saying they have, but I’m not saying they haven’t — but if they did, they should not be held accountable for their role in all this? They are given free reign to screw the taxpayer and deprive them of honest representation in Albany, but ultimately because the root of the problem is Carl Kruger, he should have to pay for others’ misdeeds? That is like saying Charles Manson’s parents are responsible for the murder of Sharon Tate. I don’t buy that.

      • BrooklynBus

        Its not like blaming Charles Manson’s parents because they were not knowingly responsible for their son’s behavior. Kruger on the other hand, if he did nothing illegal, a special election would not have been necessary. Therefore he is responsible. The other is a separate issue, if the candidates who might have been responsible for voter fraud should be held accountable. Of course they should if it could be proven but that would result in even higher investigative costs, probably.

        • ES

          I get that a lot of disenfranchised residents are anxious to see Kruger crucified on Thursday, but I do not believe that Kruger should be held responsible for any alleged voter fraud that may or may not have occurred in this special election. If it did allegedly occur, the only ones who should be held responsible are the people who committed it. If it didn’t occur, which is what I hope for, even better.

          Why not just blame the residents of the 27th Senate District for electing Kruger to office? They are responsible for putting him there — also by special election — and over the course of the 18 years that he was re-elected over and over again, and served as their state senator. Were it not for them, he would not have been in the office to commit the acts that he confessed to, which ultimately led to the March 20 special election, which is now costing taxpayers through the nose because of two candidates (not the candidates themselves, but the ensuing tie that occurred), whose campaigns Kruger was not a part of or affiliated with in any way.

          Bottom line: If I screw up, I take personal responsibility. I don’t try to pin it on someone else. Kruger is taking responsibility for his admitted role in depriving his constituents of honest services (the very honest services he did provide notwithstanding, which you can read all about in his 72-page sentencing memorandum online). I believe he has already paid a great deal, with the mortal humiliation he has endured in the press and in public. The worst is yet to come for him, and while some people may derive great pleasure from that, I do not.

          • BrooklynBus

            No one said anything about blaming Kruger for the voter fraud specifically. We were talking about the expense of the special election which is high even without the fraud. Thats what i said he should be responsible for.

            That said, we could also blame Weiner for the special election he caused because of his plain stupidity.

          • ES

            Cause and effect. All roads in this argument, regardless of how straight or circuitous, will lead to Kruger, no matter which way you look at it, unless you modify your starting point.

            I am not without my own gripes. If Weiner and Kruger — two angry bigmouths who Got Stuff Done — were still in office, there would have been an increased chance that the hunk of real estate on the corner of Nostrand and Y would today be a thriving, NEARBY supermarket. Maybe…

            Alas…

          • BrooklynBus

            Doesn’t say much for Fidler, Nelson, Golden, and Cymbrowitz or whoever else represents the area.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        If Kruger had been a responsible parent his children would not have been in the position where they were squabbling among themselves and then asking the courts to decide how many marbles they won.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aleks-Yakubssohn/577180490 Aleks Yakubssohn

      i generally think they should institute a law, that would automatically hand the elected office disgraced by one party’s member, to another party. or exclude that party from defending it. this way, we’d have no Fidlers and no Fossellas

  • Dan

    How much has Kruger cost the taxpayer when you add up the investigation of his actions that lead to his guilty plea, the special election and his future incarceration? It was cheaper to keep him in office.

  • Andrew Kent

    And the state parties are going broke.  The only real winners here are the printers.

    • ES

      I say this completely tongue in cheek, but does Kruger get any credit for inadvertently supporting businesses? Of course not.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Only the paper mills. So the Northwest should love him.

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      State parties going broke? That’s the best political news I’ve heard in awhile!

  • Andrew Kent

    Weinergate, Kruger’s downfall, reapportionment, Beavis and Butthead candidate choices…  how much abuse and disappointment can one community take?

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      I’m thinking of running…..try and top THAT.

  • us citizen

    The difference between Kruger and other politicians ….he got caught

    • ES

      Wow, that was said about Nixon, and Clinton, and Weiner, and Hevesi, and Seminario, and… need I continue?

      • us citizen

         Spitzer, Paterson McGreevey

        • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

          Berke,Friedman… oops.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Calling the special election the “”Kruger Special Election” is like calling 52 Chambers Street the Tweed Courthouse. Except that at least there is some irony in the latter, Tweed was convicted in the court bearing his name.

  • tyba

    $825,000 for 22,000 votes is about 37.5 dollars to process each vote.