San Joaquin County is dealing with tens of thousands of damaged ballots after Tuesday’s primary election, which has significantly slowed the counting process.
As the election nears, the county revealed that a large number of ballots are considered damaged or defective due to the method used to print barcodes on mail-in ballots.
Ballots are currency being duplicated to ensure that each vote is counted correctly.
This process involves two people who are under camera surveillance to ensure votes are cast, allowing for longer compilation time.
Last Saturday, San Joaquin County received 42,000 mail-in ballots that were supposed to be released on Election Day.
But only 15,000 ballots were actually mailed due to a scanning problem.
The county also received an additional 77,000 mail-in ballots on Tuesday.
In a statement, the county said it assumed a large number of people kept their mail-in ballots until Election Day “due to concerns about the speed of the mail and wanted to make sure their ballot was arriving correctly”.
The county expects 25-30% of ballots to be rejected due to the scanning issue, again extending counting time.
The county noted that only 7,000 people voted in person at a polling place, which equates to 0.5% of San Joaquin County’s registered voters.