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Explainer: Why ballot-counting in Nevada is dragging on

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“The volume is definitely something that we’ve never seen before in the state as far as receiving and processing mail-in ballots.”

The tempo of vote-counting in Nevada is being criticised for taking too lengthy and it’s even grow to be fodder for on-line jokes. But authorities officers say they’re emphasising accuracy over velocity in a yr when processing an unprecedented flood of mail-in ballots underneath prolonged deadlines is taking extra time.

“We told everyone early on that results would take at least ten days,” Secretary of State spokeswoman Jennifer A Russell mentioned in an e-mail.

The Legislature handed a invoice in August to ship all lively voters mail-in ballots in hopes of curbing, or no less than not fuelling, the unfold of the coronavirus. Those postmarked by Election Day will be counted in the event that they arrive at election places of work inside seven days, which is Tuesday. And they proceed to return in, although the quantity arriving every day is anticipated to dwindle.

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“It’s been a different year for us,” mentioned Deanna Spikula, registrar of voters in Washoe County, the state’s second-largest county that features Reno. “The volume is definitely something that we’ve never seen before in the state as far as receiving and processing mail-in ballots.”

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the state. More than 1.2 million ballots had been counted by Friday afternoon, with Joe Biden holding a 20,137-vote lead over President Donald Trump — an fringe of about 1.6 factors. About 87% of the estimated vote has been tallied, however tens of hundreds of votes stay uncounted statewide.

The overwhelming majority of these untallied ballots are in Clark County, which incorporates Las Vegas and its populous surrounding suburbs. Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria mentioned on Friday that excellent votes fell into a number of classes, every requiring multi-step verification to make sure the integrity of the election.

Michelle Johnson, knowledgeable singer and longtime Las Vegas resident, mentioned she was dissatisfied with the state’s slow-going tally of votes.

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“This is Nevada. You’d think in this state we’d be good at math and good at counting numbers, Johnson said. I thought we would be more on the cutting edge because of all the other technology that goes on in our city.”

Most of the still-to-be counted ballots arrived by mail, and are first processed by way of a machine that verifies signatures. Election workers manually examines signatures not verified by the machine. Later, a overview is finished to verify the entire variety of ballots processed matches the variety of ballots acquired. Once verified, these ballots are counted.

As of Thursday, an extra 44,000 ballots required ID verification, and a pair of,100 others had signature-match issues. The registrar’s workplace reaches out to voters in each teams to confirm their eligibility to vote, which once more takes time.

Gloria mentioned he anticipated the vast majority of the remaining ballots to be counted by Sunday. The Legislature gave election officers till November 12 to complete counting votes, and Gloria mentioned workers supposed to work till then to resolve poll points.

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In Washoe County, the registrar’s workplace mentioned it had no backlog or different issues with vote-counting. Along with counting mail ballots as they arrive, the county has about 5,100 provisional and same-day registration ballots that must be counted. About 1,800 others have signature points, which the company is trying to resolve with the voters.

Processing mail-in ballots takes longer however we haven’t had any hiccups, we haven’t had any delays, mentioned spokeswoman Bethany Drysdale.

“As much as everybody wants an answer right now, we won’t have that until every ballot is counted,” she added.

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