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Election to Replace Councilwoman Hahn Is Positively Special; Vote Dates Set

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Special elections aren't cheap, but Council District 15 needs one to replace Janice Hahn, who was sworn in yesterday as the Congresswoman from California's 36th District. The L.A. City Council debated mightily about the $1.5 million price tag for a special election to replace the departed councilwoman, but they did manage to set a couple of dates, reports the Daily News.

A primary will be held on November 8, 2011, and a runoff between the top two, if needed, will happen January 17th, 2012.

Five candidates have already put their hats in the ring for the job; right now the "city's chief legislative analyst will act as a caretaker for the council seat until the election, but will not have a vote in City Council."

Councilman Bill Rosendahl wondered about making this election one that was done by mail, however the City Clerk reminded Council they "rejected a 2010 recommendation by her office that would greatly reduce election costs by making vote-by-mail the default method of voting in city elections."

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One way they could save bucks would be if there was also a statewide special election scheduled for that day. That's up to Governor Jerry Brown, and would only shave less than a third of the price off.

The idea of appointing someone to Hahn's vacant post also came up, however, members of the council balked at stepping over the voices of the constituents in CD 15 who would not have a say in the council's appointment.

There is a chance that, with the $1.5 million cost just an estimate, the election could come in, as so few things do in L.A., under budget.