CHICAGO (CBS) — The reality of this election: High costs and low turnout.

The CBS 2 Investigators have been digging into how much we’re all paying and a possible solution.

CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker crunches the numbers.

A look at a Lakeview polling place shows lots of poll workers and few voters. All that comes at a price.

Each precinct is different, but it’s not uncommon to see as many as seven poll workers earning more than $1,500 dollars.

With more than 2,000 precincts citywide, that’s about three million dollars for some 15,000 workers for one day of labor.

Then there’s rent.

The city doesn’t have to pay for public schools and libraries. But private spots like temples, restaurants and apartment buildings, like one owned by the wealthy Wirtz family, cost taxpayers $150 to $275 a piece.

One voter CBS 2 spoke with is not alone in living within a stone’s throw of her polling place.

“I’m right around the corner. I walk,” she said. Take the 44th Ward on Chicago’s North Side. 41 precincts translates to 23 individual polling places.

But taking a look at these 14 alone, between Diversey and Addison, east of Clark, some in the same block.

The total price tag for the Chicago election: $15 million. Given the turnout, that’s about $31 for each ballot cast.

So is there a better way? Even the city of Chicago said maybe yes.

The Chicago Board Of Election Commissioners is considering the Colorado model:  Mail a ballot to everyone, allow folks to drop those ballots off and even drive up and drop.

CBS 2 is told the cost is much lower and Denver has experienced turnout of  80, even 90 percent in some elections. Higher than what’s presented locally.

Remember that $31 voters pay for every ballot? In Denver, the number is more like $7 for every vote cast.

Why it’s so expensive?

One source said it’s the “Chicago Way.” Meaning precinct captains like to put their buddies on the payroll on election day.

Dorothy Tucker