Mail-in ballots for Primary Election are starting to get counted

Posted at 4:13 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 08:11:51-04

BALTIMORE  — Today is the day those mail-in ballots for the primary election have started to be counted. And after a few issues, the City Board of Elections Leaders said they finally have it under control.

Armstead Jones, who’s the election director, said working hard hours making sure the mail-in votes are counted and counted accurately is the main focus of the board of elections right now.

“So we look to be here each day until 6:00 depending on the workload. The election went along as basically the best that we could do with a time frame we had to do redistricting. Baltimore City is not the only jurisdiction that had problems. I would expect there would be issues and problems. Those problems that occurred were basically along the dividing line between the new districts,” Jones said.

Jones said redistricting normally takes around three months to complete, but they finished in three weeks which he thinks was partly responsible for the issues that occurred.

On Wednesday, organizers recovered 100 percent of the flash drives from all 396 precincts after around a dozen were misplaced. Now, the focus has shifted to counting those mail-in ballots. Right now, they’re averaging around 500 an hour and that’s before the second wave of mail-in ballots arrive.

READ MORE: Baltimore Board of Elections misplaces then finds 12 flash drives of votes

“Of course the mail-in ballots have to be postmarked by election night 8:00 p.m. We’ll process those and get those prepared to be counted. We will have provisional coming up and also the second canvas that will start,” Jones said.

Campaign leaders for both Wes Moore and Tom Perez were there observing the counts.

“This has been an unprecedented election you know, we’ve seen because of Larry Hogan‘s unconscionable veto we couldn’t even start counting the mail-in ballots until today,” Sean Naron said.

“We believe very strongly that every voice needs to be heard in this democracy and through this process so we’re going to wait and see what the final results,” Brain Jones said.

Armstead Jones said his team will work through Saturday towards completing the counts. It’s unclear how long the process could take but it could be weeks.

That all depends on the number of mail-in ballots.

“Normally this process can go three weeks, but I don’t think it will go three weeks because of the low turnout,” Armstead Jones said.

More than 500,000 mail-in ballots were requested this year for this primary election so everyone is stuck waiting on the results. If you would like to review an interactive map that gives live updates of those totals as they roll in click here.