A full two weeks have now passed since the midterm election on November 6th, and while preliminary results are posted every day, the final results have yet to be determined.
“The status of counting, we are still at 86,000 vote by mail ballots that came from polling places on election night that we are still counting. Also we have about 45,000 provisional ballots that need to be processed,” said Art Tinoco, assistant registrar of voters for Riverside County.
So what’s the hold up? Unfortunately, the process of reaching the final results in an election is more complicated than most people realize. Before the ballots can be counted, the signature on each must be verified, the ballots are then sorted by precinct, opened and then staged before counting can even begin.
“We do a lot of review and also we do a lot of reviewing how many ballot came back from the polls that night. And again we are doing a lot of check and balances throughout this period to make sure that every ballot does get counted,” said Tinoco.
So far the Riverside County registrar has counted roughly 470,000 ballots with about 120,000 more to go. To speed up the process as much as possible that county has hired 300 temporary employees.
“It’s normal for us to run the three to almost four weeks as far as the canvass period because we are checking everything,” said Tinoco.
Riverside County is not alone. San Bernardino County and San Diego County are also still in the process of finalizing their election results. Another contributing factor to the delay is an increase in California’s vote by mail ballots. A trend that is happening statewide.
“As far as the vote by mails we had a little bit more come to us from polling places also through the mail system so there was a larger number than expected,” Tinoco.