Fewer absentee ballots expected in Shelby County; expect more timely election results

Fewer absentee ballots expected in Shelby County; expect more timely election results

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On the final day of early voting, we met a woman named Ella Rodgers. With less than an hour left in early voting, she cast her ballot at her home church and voting precinct Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.

At 89-years-old, she’s voted in her fair share of elections.

“Because I always vote. It’s my duty as a citizen,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers was one of more than 300,00 people that voted early in-person in Shelby County.

“It’s really gone extremely well. We’ve had very few problems,” Shelby County Election Administrator Linda Phillips said Thursday.

Now that early voting is over, she’s focused on Election Day. She’s finishing up training for poll workers and updating the election day poll books.

Once the polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday, staff will begin counting thousands of absentee ballots, but it’ll be far fewer than the upwards of 50,000 mail-in ballots she initially thought she would get.

She’s now expecting about 28,000 absentee ballots.

Phillips told county commissioners last week that without additional scanners, it could be days past Election Day before getting final results.

However with more people opting to vote in-person and a gift from the state, the results may come back much faster.

“I will say that secretary of state’s purchase of the additional scanners to help out at Nixon is really going to really dramatically shorten that timeframe, so I feel confident we can get it counted on election night, although it’s going to be late,” Phillips said.

Phillips says the state gave the county 8 small scanners to be used at the main election offices on Nixon. She predicts we could get election results around midnight.

However, she says that all depends on how many absentee ballots come in on Election Day.

Remember, voters can drop off their absentee ballots at designated post offices until 3 p.m. on Election Day.

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