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Politics

The Process of Bringing in the Ballots

Tuesday night after the polls closed, workers at Greene County Election Headquarters began feverishly working to tally the ballots. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann was there behind the scenes and has this report.

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/process-bringing-ballots_48667.mp3

That's the sound of teams of poll workers lugging in election materials for check-in, after working a long day at the polls. The room is lined with large folding tables and seated with worker teams receiving the contents of each sealed box. What was first a trickle of people checking in, has quickly become several long lines backed up to the front doors. Workers appear to wait patiently after a long day at the polls.

Zachary McFarland is the election coordinator for Greene County.

“Republican and Democratic supervisors--poll judges--bring back the balloting materials that come back in the same car. It’s sealed. So ballot materials, memory pack from the [counting] machine, provisional ballots, all of the fun stuff, comes back into our check in teams. Also bi-partisan, they check in all of the materials and make sure everything is filled out correctly and signed,” McFarland says.

McFarland says ballot materials are taken back to the counting room. Ballots that need to be counted right away, like provisional ballots, are counted. All others are sealed. Computers, tablets and other devices are taken to the equipment room where workers are also met with check in teams. McFarland says once poll workers have checked in all materials, they get a signed receipt and are ‘on their way.’

“Hopefully it should take a couple of hours,” says McFarland.

These workers are in for a long night. McFarland says on most election days, workers are typically done by 10pm. But on this election night, he simply says, "Who knows?”