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Machines Help Counter Slow-Down Caused By Vote-by-Mail Ballots

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The year's election has revealed a new conflict -the one between the way we're voting, and the machines who are helping elections staff count votes.   

As the candidates in several close races await the next vote tally, a combination of people and machines is processing ballots at the Sacramento County elections office. 

Assistant Registrar Alice Jarboe says the machines are speeding up the process, "We do have some technology that we use.  It's mail house technology to sort all of the materials that come in, capture the signatures for us so we can compare those quickly and fast.   We also use letter extractors that cut open the envelopes and we can take the ballots out quickly."

About 162,000 vote-by-mail ballots were cast in the county this election.   About 115,000 have been counted so far.  Jarboe says even with the mechanical help, it doesn't look like elections staff will be able to process all of the vote-by-mail and provisional ballots before Thanksgiving. 
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