The Costs of Democracy: Election Administration Spending on Runoff Elections

31 August 2023, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


To what extent do runoff elections increase election administration costs? Previous scholarship has highlighted the correlation of production and demand sides of the public sector cost model, and more recent evidence has added political considerations such as the partisanship of county commissions. Using Georgia’s unique election processes—runoff elections and multiple methods of election administration at the county level—we contribute to understanding election administration expenditures. We demonstrate that general election runoffs and counties with Boards of Election spend more dollars per registered voter between 2014 and 2020. This further develops the literature regarding procedural costs and the impact of professionalization of election bureaus.


Election administration
Runoff elections
Public sector costs


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