NEVADA CITY, Calif. June 6, 2018 – As of 4:00 pm today, the Nevada County Elections Office received 28,022 vote-by mail ballots – most of them dropped off or mailed yesterday, on Election Day. This count is likely to increase over the next two days as election code requires ballots postmarked by June 5 to be accepted and counted for three days after the election date.
The elections office had checked signatures, opened envelopes, made sure ballot cards were not damaged and sorted into the various precinct boxes over 14,000 vote by mail ballots on Election Day.
Those votes, part of the evening’s first results, were tallied right after the close of polls at 8:00 pm on election night.
Good job Procrastinators!
The short answer as to why we do not have updated election results: Procrastinating voters.
With multiple races too close to call, campaigns and voters are clamoring for updated results. “But why does it take so long to update?” “When will they count the votes?”
Balancing expediency and integrity of vote counting is impossible. Each envelope is handled by multiple groups of election workers. First the flap hiding your signature is removed. Then, the signatures are being checked. If the signature matches that on file, the envelope is passed to the next group for opening. Ballots the are sorted by precinct, put into batches to be scanned. The tallies are then checked for accuracy.
14,000 or maybe even up to 17,000 ballots put through this process will take a good part of the Official Canvass between tomorrow and July 5, 2018. At the end of the canvass, once all the ballots are tallied, the provisional ballots are resolved, damaged ballots are duplicated and a 10% manual count on a random precinct agrees with the machine count – the election will be certified and the results are final.
When will we see an update? Probably by late Monday or maybe Tuesday. Will it be a huge update? Probably not. How can this situation be avoided in November? Voters need to mail their ballots earlier or, if they want the “polling place experience,” take advantage of early voting at a vote center or cast their ballot in person on election day.
For now, the nail-biting wait for the campaigns will continue.
On the bright side, voter turnout won’t be abysmal.