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Marion County continues canvass of record number of ballots

 INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Almost 60% of the registered voters in Marion County voted in this election, a record turnout.

The Marion County Clerk’s Office and the county’s Election Board on Friday continued to process about 2,000 provisional ballots, which are given to voters when questions exist about the people’s eligibility. The final count won’t come until next early week.

Many of the voting machines used in Marion County were rented for the election; on Friday, they were being boxed up and shipped out.

The Election Board still had a handful of people counting and processing ballots. Democrat Judy Champa has been counting ballots since election Day.

“What we are doing right here, I think every adult in the United States should have to do this once at least once so they can appreciate. It is not just dropping a ballot in a box,” Champa said.

Not every ballot came back to the Election Service Center with all the required signatures. Those ballots will be sent back to the voter, who will have 10 days to sign it properly and send it back. This is called “curing” a ballot. As of noon Friday, 2,000 ballots still needed to be cured. 

Russell Hollis of the Marion County Clerks Office said, “We are still contacting voters that had mismatched signature issues.”

According to the Election Board, 215, 912 mail-in absentee ballots were cast in Marion County. By early Friday afternoon, the last of those ballots were processed and tallied. All mail-in absentee and in-person early voting ballots arrive at the Election Service Center in an envelope. A Republican and Democrat are teamed up in pairs to insure the ballots are properly filled out and processed correctly. Due to a lack of GOP volunteers in Marion County, Boone County Republican Jackie Rhoton was recruited to count ballots down here.

“I had no idea it would be on this scale,” Rhoton said.

This was the first time she has counted ballots and was doing so after hearing concerns of ballot tampering in other states.

“That’s why I’m here. I didn’t think there would be in Indiana necessarily but if there is not enough people represented to be here, then there could be,” Rhoton said.

The Election Board had not been notified of any legal challenges before Friday night.

On Monday, the Election Board will start the canvass process, which assures the votes cast and counted are valid.