From long lines, to near ballot shortages – Tuesday’s election left behind some questions. The last minute rush, absentee voting, and the ballot size itself are just a few of the challenges city officials faced. About 32,000 votes were cast. “We still seem to have a bit of energy,” Lorie Hogstad, Sioux Falls City Clerk, said. Hogstad’s office is a bit quieter the day after the big city vote. While she and her team work on post-election details, she touched on the previous night. Election night started like a sprint, but slowed to marathon pace down later in the evening. The polls were set to close at 7 pm, but the first voting center did not submit ballots until 8 pm.
The last center closed after 10 pm. In addition to a last minute voter scramble, Hogstad said the longer-than-normal ballot sheet made it difficult for machines to process. In some cases, machines spit out ballots. Hogstad said there is a process to make sure every vote is counted.
“They look at every single ballot and they determine what the intent of the voter was, did they actually mark the oval in anyway? And they recreate the ballot,” Hogstad said.
Counting 3,000 absentee ballots also took longer.
“You can imagine a 17-inch ballot, folded into the size of a business envelope. So, those always slow things down a bit,” Hogstad said.
Full Article: KELOLAND.com | SF City Clerk Talks Election Night Challenges.