The Associated Press is up with a story this morning warning that vote tallies next Tuesday could turn into multi-day events. Pointing out that the number of California voters casting mail-in ballots this year is expected to surpass 2008, with several statewide contests polling at dead even, the story says final results could take days to tabulate.
Voting officials have distributed 8.9 million mail-in ballots this election cycle, about 20 percent more than were requested in 2008, when about 42% of the 13.7 million ballots cast in the presidential election were sent by mail. In the 2000 election, only 25% of the electorate voted by mail.
The bottleneck in the counting process is attributed to the number of ballots that are being dropped off on Election Day. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen is quoted as saying dropped off ballots don’t even start to be processed until 8 p.m. In 2008, 3.2 million ballots– a quarter of the total vote count– didn’t make the tally on election night.