ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Between early voting, election day, and record numbers of absentee voters, county Boards of Elections have had their work cut out for them. Let’s break down the ballot-counting process and take a look at absentee ballot numbers in the Capital Region.
Calculating early voting totals should be fairly simple because the results just have to be uploaded from a machine, a process Boards of Elections were able to begin at 8 p.m. last night. When the polls closed at 9 p.m., they were able to start adding results from those in-person election day votes.
The absentee-counting process is more labor-intensive. It also involves canvassing to verify that people who voted in-person after sending in an absentee ballot will only be counted once. Absentee votes are disregarded in favor of in-person votes in a case like that.
As long as those ballots were postmarked by November 3, and the Boards of Elections receives them by November 10, they’ll be counted.
Absentee votes are going to play a major role in the presidential election as well as some tight local races, and an impressive amount of absentee ballots were requested this year. An average of 70% of those requested absentee ballots were returned in 11 Capital Region counties as of October 30.
High-tech counting machines, like one used in Saratoga County, will help ease the burden of the massive amounts of absentee voters this year. Days’ worth of work counting thousands of ballots by hand can be done in just a matter of hours, instead.
The time frame for counting absentee votes varies by county. For example, Warren County will begin counting Friday, and Schenectady County will start their absentee tally on Monday.