Counting to resume Thursday for thousands of Marion County ballots

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There are still thousands of ballots to be processed in Marion County, and counting will resume at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Results on Election Day showed 113,000 ballots processed with more than 200 people working from around noon to midnight.

Wednesday’s work started at 10 a.m. with about half of the help. Just over 100 people showed up to count 100,000 outstanding ballots for a second day.

An update at 12:30 p.m. from the Election Board showed that 12,600 votes had been processed, then an update around 3:00 p.m. increased that number to 34,618. As of 3 p.m. the two-day total was 148,942 ballots processed.

On Wednesday night, the Marion County Election Board said in a statement: “Between 10:00 AM and 8:30 PM today, 87,056 absentee ballots have been tabulated, and the results page has been uploaded to the election board’s results page. As of 8:30 PM today, a total of 201,390 absentee ballots have been counted and tabulated into the election results during Marion County’s central count of absentee ballots.”

“Actually this is more people than normal for the day after Election Day to help count absentee ballots,” said Russell Hollis, deputy director of the Marion County Election Board.

Before this election the most absentee ballots that had every been processed in a day in Marion County was around 60,000, according to Hollis.

“The number of absentee ballots that we had leading up to Election Day this year was roughly double, if not more than previous election cycles. And so the fact that we got through 113,000 absentee ballots in one night, that was record-setting for us,” he said.

Hollis said the focus on Election Day was on processing the northern townships because of the 5th Congressional District race between Republican Victoria Spartz and Democrat Christina Hale, which they hope to have finished by the end of the night.

“We are still working with a chunk of the townships; Lawrence Township, Washington Township, and Pike Township ballots. But we did get through most of them,” said Hollis.

There was a push to get through as many votes as possible while they had the increased volunteers.

“I mean I think it is a landmark election so [we] want to make sure every ballot is counted. I told people at the polls yesterday, every ballot will be counted, so here I am,” said Kim Shepherd, who worked at a polling location on Election Day and then helped count ballots in Marion County on Wednesday.

“We have prepped ballots to be counted today so that we can begin the day so that we can begin the day counting ballots at a fast pace,” said Hollis.

The volunteers that showed up for day two of counting had lofty goals of getting through ballots.

“I think everybody comes in with the mindset of like, we all want the same thing, which is that they all get counted no matter what, despite everything,” said Tiffany Ceown, who helped count ballots in Marion County on Wednesday.

A final update for the votes counted Wednesday was sent to News 8 Wednesday night. As of 6:30 p.m., 79,505 absentee ballots had been tabulated, bringing the total of absentee ballots tabulated to 193,829.

Another update is expected to be released around 9 p.m. Wednesday.


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