St. Joseph County election results may take until Friday

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 6:50 PM EST
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - St. Joseph County residents may have to wait several days to get election results.

All the votes cast yesterday on election day have been counted.

Although the election board had to double check the number of total ballots from two voting centers after workers there had some questions.

The reason for the big wait is because this year, a record 58,097 people voted absentee, combining walk-in’s and mail-in’s.

Just over 90-percent of the 32,8000 walk-in’s have been processed, and the rest will be counted Wednesday.

And then workers will start counting the over 25,2000 mail-in absentee ballots.

Board chair Catherine Fanello says this could take them until Friday, but they’d like to be done sooner.

Every day these absentee ballots are counted, results will be released between 5 and 7 p.m.

Those who didn’t wait in long, cold early voting lines encountered mild weather and more voting locations on Election Day. Saint Joseph County debuted more than 40 vote centers in fall 2020, where any registered voter could vote at any designated center.

At Clay International Academy, South Bend resident Blaine Griffin experienced no wait Tuesday afternoon, making a return trip after encountering a 6 a.m. line that approached Cleveland Road.

“I pulled in [this afternoon], right up front and walked in, and within 10 minutes, 12 minutes, I’m walking out the door!” he said.

Erica Sholty, of South Bend, also voted after lunch time at Clay International.

“I have some fellow coworkers that got up early this morning and were in line prior to coming into work, so I just got lucky that I found out there’s other options, so I could get my vote in,” she said.

Clay International precinct sheriff Matthew Henderson was pleased, overall, with the flow of Election Day operations.

“Initially, because we’re all volunteers, it’s just making sure we’re all familiar and comfortable with how the voting system works as well as addressing any issues voters might have with, say, electronic ballots that are being used this year, whether or not they’re still registered – just small little hiccups,” he reported.

The Marquette Montessori precinct sheriffs Lisa Plencner and Richard Pierce also noticed few issues aside from voters being somewhat confused about the new vote center plan.

“Everybody’s been friendly, excited, happy to be out on Election Day,” said Plencner.

South Bend voters Ty Miles and Steffanie Riffle brought along their young daughter, Aubri, for their voting trip to Marquette.

“She’s gotta vote one day, too!” said Miles.

On Tuesday night, election board members re-processed ballots from the Swanson and Ivy Tech vote centers after workers at the respective locations had questions about the accuracy of the ballot counts.

Combining 'walk-in’ and 'mail-in’ ballots, the election board confirms some 58,000 people voted absentee in fall 2020. Just over 90 percent of the 32,846 walk-in absentees have been processed. The rest will be counted on Wednesday before workers tabulate the 25,251 mail-in ballots, an endeavor that could take a few days.

Board chair Catherine Fanello anticipates winners will be declared on Friday or earlier. Results aren’t technically official until the board certifies them on November 13th.

Daily vote total updates will be given between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. from the St. Joseph County Election Board.

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