ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Election officials in Maryland have received the majority of mail-in ballots but still have to count nearly 600,000 of them, the state Board of Elections said Thursday.
A spreadsheet the board provided showed that as of Wednesday, the most recent available data, there were a total of 590,778 mail-in ballots left to count. On its website, the board said this is part of a normal process.
The board said local election officials have received 1,474,963 mail-in ballots of the more than 1.6 million that were sent out. Mail-in ballots will be accepted through the November 13 deadline.
Currently, 87% of requested mail-in ballots have been returned to local boards of elections, an increase from 77.5% in 2018 and 78.6 percent in 2016, the elections board said.
As of Thursday evening, all but six election day vote center scanners have reported results due to a technical delay with how votes are processed. The board offered an explanation on Election Night:
“Processing results includes transferring data from the thumb drives from the scanners to the central voting system database. This process requires the user to manually confirm any precinct that does not have results before moving to the next precinct.
“For example, a voter lives in precinct 1-1 which is located in Glen Burnie, northern Anne Arundel County. While this voter can vote at any vote center in Anne Arundel County, the voter is unlikely to vote at a vote center in southern Anne Arundel County. If no voter from precinct 1-1 votes at a vote center in southern Anne Arundel, the southern Anne Arundel vote center will not have any ballots from precinct 1-1. When the results are processed, the user must manually confirm that there are no ballots from precinct 1-1 from this vote center.
“The data transfer and confirmation process is taking about 8-10 minutes for each thumb drive. This impacts those jurisdictions with the most thumb drives.”