The Alameda County Registrar of Voters is awash in uncounted absentee ballots, its spokesman, Guy Ashley, said this morning. There are likely as many as 60,000 absentee ballots - maybe more - that have yet to be tallied. That means any close races are far from being over. It also means that any talk of low-voter turnout this election is badly off base. Ashley estimated that voter turnout among absentee voters may approach 70 percent.
On Tuesday, the registrar counted a total of 145,000 absentee ballots that arrived before the election, Ashley said. Those 145,000 are included in the vote tallies that have been posted on the registrar's website since Tuesday night. However, Ashley said the registrar had logged in at least 182,000 absentee ballots in total by Election Day. That means there at least 37,000 more to count.
But that's not all. Ashley said the registrar's office had received "a huge amount" of absentee ballots on Election Day itself, both by mail and when voters dropped them off at polling places. That likely will push the absentee ballot totals to more than 200,000, he said, meaning there are at least 55,000 to 60,000 uncounted ballots countywide.
In all, the registrar staff sent out 311,000 absentee ballots this election, and Ashley said it looks like they will easily receive at least "two-thirds" back. He said counters hope to post their first update of counted absentee ballots on the website by 5 p.m. today.
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