Vote-by-mail has put a whole new spin on determining election results. Though the Associated Press declared Provo Mayor John Curtis the winner Tuesday night in a three-way Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District, his opponent Chris Herrod has still not conceded, and thousands of votes wait to be counted in Utah County alone. Dozens of mayoral and city council candidates also await final results to see if they advanced to the general election Nov. 7. Utah County Clerk/Auditor Bryan Thompson says he has had multiple candidates and city officials express frustration with the delay, but more results will likely not be released until Friday.
That delay in receiving results, Thompson said, is likely to be the new normal in vote-by-mail elections. Vote by mail requires signatures to be verified before ballots are removed from envelopes by hand and scanned into the system, a far more labor-intensive process than uploading results from voting machines.
“In a way, convenience and voting by mail may be mutually exclusive of more final results on election day,” Thompson said.