Historical cost per vote in Virginia gubernatorial elections, 1965-2005.

Data from UVa’s Geospatial & Statistical Data Center. Adjusted for inflation using Robert Sahr’s Inflation Conversion Factors for Dollars 1665 to Estimated 2016.

Well, I guess elections do cost a lot now, after all. The cost per vote has doubled since 1993.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

9 replies on “Historical cost per vote in Virginia gubernatorial elections, 1965-2005.”

  1. Have you heard that the FEC is predicting that the 08 presidential election is going to cost each candidate upwards of 500 million dollars!?


  2. Don’t you just love statistics? Tim Kaine had my vote for considerably less than $18. I’ll bet he got 75% of his votes for the cost of his candidacy announcement press conference. And how many more were paid for by Kilgore with his Hitler ad?

    What is this sort of granularity supposed to show me that simply saying, “it costs a boatload of money to run for the governorship”? At which point we can have a meaty discussion about candidate quality and how it is that Virginia gets a Kilgore, or an Allen? Put another way; What is the per unit advertising cost to sell a Toyota Prius versus Ford Focus?

  3. It does sound like a lot of money is spent on elections until you realize that Americans spend more money every single week on potato chips or chewing gum (I can’t remember which) than all of the money spent on the ’04 presidential election.

  4. So what can we all do to increase this cost? That’s the real question.

    Political campaigns are clearly a major industry in Virginia. It is all the more important given that we have elections every single year due to state elections being in odd-numbered years while federal races are in even years. Political campaigns in Virginia tend to draw large amounts of money from out of state. This is a key part of our economy year after year. We of the Virginia political blogosphere should be working to increase the cost per vote to $25 by January 1st, 2007.

    Together, we can do it.

  5. Is Sahr’s data from 1965 onward? Or is 1665 a number that is significant for some other reason?

    I can’t believe that no one here has talked about removing the money factor somewhat with public financing of campaigns. As part of the FCC licensing process and rules, broadcast stations would be required to allow certain amount of advertising time to be used during the elections.

    Until the big corporate money is taken out of political races, there will be no end in sight to the cost of the races themselves.

  6. It would be nice to get it up a bit so candidates could just peel off a twenty to hand out to each voter. Making change slows things down considerably.

  7. “We of the Virginia political blogosphere should be working to increase the cost per vote to $25 by January 1st, 2007.

    Together, we can do it.”

    We can start with higher salaries for staffers ;)

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