Elkhart County voting numbers delayed by damaged, provisional ballots

NOW: Elkhart County voting numbers delayed by damaged, provisional ballots

GOSHEN, Ind. --- A day after the election polls have closed, Elkhart County still has ballots to be tabulated. 99% of the total vote, which turns out to be 74,001 has been accounted for, but there is a slight delay in getting results. 

The reason for that is due to a high number of damaged or potentially invalid ballots cast. 

Tire marks, hand sanitizer spills, and torn ballots are what election officials have had to work through while tallying ballots. These unreadable votes have caused a delay in getting the official results finalized, but Elkhart County Clerk Christopher Anderson is willing to take the extra time to make sure all legal votes are accounted for correctly. 

"Elections are on the up and up. There is not a lot of voter fraud, conspiratorial voter fraud," said Anderson. 

The 1% of unaccounted votes rounds out to approximately 740 ballots, which will be accounted for by November 13th. Anderson explained, too many provisional and damaged ballots are the main cause of the delay in the release of official results. 

"There are some remakes, ballots that were damaged in the mail, ballots that were damaged by hand sanitizer either early in-person or election day. Hand sanitizer and thermal paper do not go well together at all," said Anderson. 

Provisional status refers to giving a voter another chance to cast their ballot if it was done in the wrong county. 

Despite the delay for the small chunk of ballots, Anderson believes election day went smoothly around the county and is proud of the outcome. 

"I think election day yesterday went fairly smoothly in Elkhart County. When you are putting on a public event for 125,000 people over the course of 12 hours, your bound to have some hiccups. Not getting poll books logged in, but we had every single voting center up and running at six in the morning yesterday," said Anderson.  

The unaccounted ballots will not impact most races, but Anderson wants to ensure every single legal vote is tallied accurately and safely. 

Remember, the key date to keep in mind for official results is November 13th.  

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