Local election workers keep counting, double-checking ballots in push to official results

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Truckloads of equipment from 147 precincts were put away inside the Jackson County Election Board’s warehouse until next election, but the staff is still hard at work following Tuesday’s election.

Director Tammy Brown said they balance every poll to make sure the numbers match.

“Checking everything out, the number of checked-in voters versus the number of ballots voted. The number of unused ballots, the number of spoiled ballots,” Brown said.

There’s a medium-sized bin of “problem ballots” that will probably not get counted. A lot of them don’t have signatures, weren’t notarized or were mailed in too late.

“It’s just sad because we sent out instructions,” Brown said, “but some people just get in a hurry or they forget.”

Brown said it’s a minimal amount compared to the more than 62,000 absentee and mail-in ballots that were properly filled out.

People showed up at the polls, too. Eastern Jackson County saw an 80% voter turnout.

Brown said their staff made quick work counting it all for unofficial results Tuesday night.

“We had no idea we would be reporting out a little after 10 last night,” Brown said. “We were thinking it would be way after midnight by the time we got everything in, so we’re proud of the job we did.”

The votes they’re still waiting on are from overseas and the military. This year, they could vote digitally due to the pandemic.

“They’re still coming in, and they’re allowed to submit their ballots until noon on Friday.” Brown said.

Brown said they don’t expect those votes to shift the outcomes of any races already reported.

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