A Look At How Mail-In Ballots Are Counted

Sunday, November 1st 2020, 6:10 pm
By: Tevis Hillis


As Election Day nears, the Oklahoma County Election Board is working tirelessly to count each mail-in ballot.

"We have been meeting daily to keep up with the volume,” Oklahoma County Election Board Secretary Doug Sanderson said. “Today, we will probably process about 8,000 ballots.”

Sanderson said while the mail-in ballots have been counted for some time, the board is still processing new ballots daily.

"When the board meets to process them, we open the green envelope, look at the affidavit envelope and make sure it complies with the law," Sanderson said.

The board then moves into a new room to separate the affidavit envelope and the ballot envelope.

"After that, we open the ballot envelope and that goes into the speed counting room," Sanderson said.

Once the ballot is counted, it is secured and handed over to the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department.

The Oklahoma State Election Board said Saturday that over 164,000 people voted early in person while over 264,000 people mailed in their ballot.

Those record-breaking numbers include Oklahoma County with more than 15,000 voting early in person and over 82,000 mailing in their ballot.

The large numbers of mail-in ballots could have the Oklahoma County Election Board working late Tuesday night.

"Typically, we are able to process ballots on election night,” Sanderson said. “Usually, absentee ballots are posted shortly after 7. But because of the volume, we could be done after 8 or 9 o'clock."

If you have not been able to mail in your ballot, Sanderson said the only day left to drop it off at the Oklahoma County Election Board is Monday.

"We can still receive those through the mail until 7 p.m. on Election Day.”   

For those who still need to vote, polls will be open Tuesday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.