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Vote By Mail Ballots Could Delay Election Night Results

Election Day could be a long one in California because so many statewide contests appear to be very close. Elections officials said with so many vote-by-mail ballots it could turn into “Election Month”.

The state distributed almost nine million vote-by-mail ballots this year. That’s almost three million more than 2008. And in 2008 more than a million voters waited until Election Day to return their ballot.

Shasta County Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen is President of the California Association of Clerks and Election officials. She said it’s a fairly labor intensive process to count all those mail ballots.

“People tend to drop their ballots off at polling places on election day," explained Allen. "Those ballots then after election day have to be verified and counted and so we do sometimes see results coming in later than I think some people would like”

The rise in voting by mail means that if enough voters wait, some of the highest-profile contests might not be decided on Election Day.

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