I was privileged to work in the registrar’s office Tuesday counting absentee ballots and early voting machine totals. Considering the large turnout for the election, things went very smoothly. The tabulating machines were great for regular size paper ballots; however, the longer and heavier ballots of this election were harder for the machines to handle. Someone had to sit behind the machine on the floor to straighten the ballots as they came through so they did not jam machines. We used two machines because of the large number of votes.
There were 817 absentee votes. Each has two envelopes to open. There were six of us working as fast as possible counting and accounting for each vote. Yet it took about two hours to do this. If an electric letter opening machine had been provided we could have done all 817 absentee ballots in one hour by one person. This would not only save enormous time and money spent for workers but election results would be available sooner. Poll watchers are sitting around waiting, news media is waiting, voters are waiting, even the state elections representative was waiting. Everyone is anxious for us to “get a total.”
It will be two more years before this issue comes up again — probably never again at this magnitude; however, I hope you will put it in future budget expenditures to either buy, rent, or borrow this machine so the entire county will quickly know the outcome of elections.
Congratulations on a well run election.