SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Vote by mail is exploding this election! Even if you return your ballot early, it's not counted until November 6th and there is a long list of reasons results could be delayed.
The process is slower for many reasons, even a coffee stain on your ballot will make a difference, and the delay could be weeks. One example a ballot can be delayed is if coffee is spilled on it. It cannot be counted by the readers, so instead a duplicate ballot needs to be made before it is read and counted.
In the last several elections Julie Rodewald the Slo Counties Clerk Recorder says about 50-60% of voters chose to vote by mail. "Here's other examples where voters have taken a pair of scissors and cut across the timing marks, and that doesn't allow the timing to be read," said Julie Rodewald.
The number of ballots coming in, can be tasking. In San Luis Obispo County nearly 60,000 ballots have been turned in, 30,000 more are expected. There are even more in Santa Barbara County, nearly 70,000 ballots have been turned in, about 50,000 are expected by tomorrow.
Election offices say fixing all the idiosyncrasies of people's ballots is part of the job if it means more people exercise their right to vote. "We want to be sure that people cast their ballots, and if that's what's more convenient for them than that's the important thing," said Rodewald.
The Clerk Recorders Office is hoping to have all the results from the election certified by Thanksgiving.
With Super Storm Sandy impacting the east, New York has assigned more than 140,000 people new polling places. In New Jersey voters are allowed to vote by email and fax. The National Guard is also setting up mobile voting booths in disaster areas.