A Closer Look Into Riverside County’s Voter Turnout

Carmela Karcher

It’s been nearly 48 hours since the polls closed.

“It’s been busy,” Riverside County Registrar of Voters Rebecca Spencer shared. “There’s still a lot of work going on here at that office.”

While voting has stopped, the election is still in full swing on Gateway Drive in Riverside .

“So yesterday’s mail, we have to go through and see if it’s postmarked on or before Election Day,” Spencer continued. “Same thing with today’s mail. We have to do that through next Tuesday. We have signature by signature to verify as well. Once their signature is verified, the envelope gets sliced open, the ballots get removed from the envelope, unfolded, flattened out and then sent into the ballot counting room where they’re counted by scanners. If the scanners can’t read the ballot, if it’s damaged, it has to go through a duplication process. So yeah, there’s a lot going on.”

Compared to past election cycles, this year’s turnout is looking similar.

“By the time we get through all the ballots, we’re between 60 and 65% turnout,” Spencer said. “Of course, we would like to see it be higher, but that’s typical for a midterm election.”

But, there’s still hefty work to be done.

“We released an update this morning with 288,000 ballots. So that’s what’s been processed, but we still have 242,000 votes-by-maIls to go through and 10,000 provisionals, but we are estimating these still have to be processed,” Spencer explained.

So, what should voters know now that the election is over?

“They could still track their ballot,” Spencer said. “If they dropped it off on Election Day or mailed it, they can go on our website and there’s a link that says “Where’s My Ballot?” It’ll tell them if we’ve verified it yet. We also have a live streaming on our website from our ballot counting room as we’re counting ballots.”

Friday, they are going to start their manual tally to make sure it matches the electronic count.

That process will last for at least two weeks.

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