Still to be counted

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.

Labor-intensive process

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.

6 replies on “At least 14,000 ballots remain to be counted in Nevada County”

  1. Problem is mail-in ballots were a bit confusing, especially to first-timers. My ballot said ‘sample’ on one side and ‘ballot’ on the other….and no green envelope to mail anything in. I voted at Gold Miner’s Inn, easy=peasy, they were open all weekend and even had a drive-up disabled space where election workers would bring a ballot out to you – just park and ring the bell. Hopefully November ballots will be easier to get through early.

  2. I have heard there’s a lot of us who just like to go to the polls to vote. It’s a feel good, American ritual and I missed it.

    1. Anyone could vote in person at one of the vote centers the week before and on Election Day. People took advantage of that and got the polling place feel.

  3. I’ve yet to see the benefit in the general mail-in vote. The mail-in option has always been available for those who wanted and needed it. The blame for the lag in complication of ballots lies not with the voter but a system that didn’t anticipate normal human behavior-that is, waiting until the last minute for a deadline.

    1. You have the correct answer. A failure to be prepared for the last minute mail in ballots. It will happen again because the bureaucrats do not learn from experience. Instead blame it on the “procrastinating “voters!

      1. I disagree and stand by procrastination as the reason we do not have full results. Not an exceptional number of ballots remain to be counted. There were 17,000 in the June 2016 and 28,000 in the November 2016 that were not counted on election night. It’s not blaming, it’s stating a fact. If the shoe fits…

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