Nation: The High Cost of Democracy

THE men and women who went to the polls on Nov. 3 were wooed at a pitch and a price that surpassed any off-year election in history. The immense cost must seem too high in any rational ordering of America's priorities and resources. TIME correspondents across the U.S. and other election analysts estimate the total outlays for Senate, House and Governor races at $200 million, only a part of which will ever be reported. Exact figures will never be fully known. Seven states have no laws at all requiring political candidates to itemize the expenses of their campaigns.

Where laws exist,...

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