Maricopa County starts counting early ballots for Nov. 8 general election
PHOENIX – With about three weeks left until Election Day, the Maricopa County Elections Department started counting early ballots on Monday.
No results, however, will be reported until an hour after the polls close Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., County Recorder Stephen Richer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.
Early voting started Oct. 12, and county election workers have been processing completed ballots so they’ll be ready to be fed into tabulation machines.
“We’ve been scanning that bar code to make sure only one vote is associated with the profile, we’ve been verifying your signature, we’ve been sending them to the bipartisan ballot processing teams to remove them from the envelope, but today we’re going to begin the actual tabulation process,” Richer said Monday morning.
“We don’t print any results until 8 p.m. on election night, but we can begin tabulating to have them ready.”
Richer said any early ballots received by the Saturday before Election Day will be counted and included in the first batch of reported results.
“And then throughout the evening we will load all the votes that were cast in person on Election Day,” he said.
In the following days, “late early” ballots that weren’t received in time to be counted before Election Day will be scanned and signature-verified before being fed into tabulators. The county said it could take 10-12 days after Election Day until the tally is complete.
“Every vote is counted,” Richer said. “But if you wanted to be part of those Tuesday night results that are released right on time, then please get it back to us sooner rather than later.”
The county said that 168,000 ballots were ready for tabulation Monday morning. Richer said he expects Maricopa County voters to cast around 1.6 million ballots in the midterm general election.
Phoenix-area voters can find a convenient voting center or drop box location at Locations.Maricopa.Vote.