Earley noted that the first round of unofficial results from the county election officials aren’t due to the state until noon on Saturday, Nov. 7. Any recounts would have to be done quickly to get official results verified by the Nov. 15 deadline.
One reason results might be later than usual, Wilcox said, was because of the increase in voting by mail this year. Until the August primary, he had gotten vote by mail ballots processed by 7 p.m. on election night. An influx of 1,000 mail ballots dropped off at his office the night of the election, however, delayed the mail vote counting until 7:20 p.m.
Those ballots “take a massive amount of handling,” Wilcox said, “because we’ve got to verify they’ve not voted someplace else; their signature has to match what we have on file; the envelopes have to be opened — so we were running a little bit late in my realm in August.”
Such a snag could be amplified in larger counties dealing with thousands of more mail ballots dropped off on the last day, he added.