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SLO County updates election count before final certification

slo county ballots.JPG
Posted at 6:30 PM, Nov 23, 2022

In San Luis Obispo County on Wednesday, another election update was released. It's the last update before the final results of the November 8 General Election are released and certified on December 8.

Elaina Cano, the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder, told KSBY, “We're just trying to make this one last big push so that our candidates and our committees and our public can all see the results of what we've been doing lately.”

Vote-by-mail ballots get scanned in at the clerk-recorder's office where voters' signatures are verified, the ballots are opened, inspected, processed, and then counted.

“It takes anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes per stack of 50 for one individual to separate the ballot from the envelope and do the inspection and be sure that those ballots are ready to go to count,” Cano said.

The staff is made up of about 15 temporary election workers.

“They're looking for red ink, which is invisible to the system. Any light marks or anything that we need to take a closer look at,” explained Melissa Lile, SLO County's Deputy Director Registrar.

“For signatures, we've probably sent out 400 to 500 signature cure letters. So either their signatures miscompared or the voter didn't sign the envelope at all," Cano said.

According to SLO County, they have about 9,872 unprocessed ballots left and in Santa Barbara County, that number is about 2,980. The numbers could change depending on ballots that may have voter signature issues.

Cano told KSBY, "I've decided that today is going to be the last day to count prior to certification because there's a whole process that goes into actually counting the ballots. And then after, so once we're done feeding the ballots into the system, there's still a backend process that we have to report to the Secretary of State's Office and that we have to create backups into the system."

On December 8, the California Secretary of State requires a final ballot count. It is the deadline to certify the election.

“Because there's going to be hopefully only a few thousand ballots left after today, we're going to hold off on counting again until we can count every last ballot on the very last day in order to certify,” Cano said.