We are only a few days away from the official 2020 US Presidential Election Day, which falls on Tuesday, November 3. Thanks to the Multnomah County Elections Office, we can get a sneak peek into what happens to your voting ballot before and after you submit it.
The Oregon mail-in voting deadline passed this week, as ballots sent through USPS after October 27, cannot be guaranteed to arrive by election day. In Oregon, all ballots must be in a dropbox or at your local elections office by 8 pm local time on November 3.
For those wondering what happens when you drop your vote off, or put it in a ballot dropbox, check out this short video from the MultCo Elections team.
“Once the ballot arrives at the Elections Division, it’s sorted. An image is then captured of the voter’s signature on the ballot envelope,” writes MultCo on YouTube. “The ballots are then stored. And one week before the election — as established by state law — the pre-processing and counting of ballots begins.”
The process for opening and counting is three steps. First, an automated opening machine cuts and extracts the ballot from the envelope. “This is done in a way that preserves the privacy of the voter.”
- See also:
After the extraction, ballots are unfolded by staffers and stacked for counting, before staff bundle signed envelopes for retainment.
Prior to 8 pm on election day, unofficial counts are published after automated systems, that are never connected to an online source, count votes on prepared ballots.
“Ballot processing continues into the following day with results continually updated at mcelections.org,” concludes MultCo. “By the Thursday after the election, 97-percent of ballots cast in the election are counted and the results reported. 20-days after the election— the results are certified.”