Getting formal election results will take longer than in years’ past, officials say

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Voters will have to be wait a little extra before they know the official winners of the numerous races on the ballot in 2020, according to local elections officials.

The high volume of absentee ballots, they say, means voters will have to be patient as they anticipate official tallies.

“We’re going to take our time and obviously double-check and cross-reference everything,” said Lisa Nicolay, the Republican Commissioner with the Monroe County Board of Elections.

“We take all the results of people who voted live, or in person, on election day and check it against our database of people who sent in an absentee ballots, and we pull out those absentee ballots, and put them aside and don’t count them,” continued Nicolay.

MORE: Election Day 2020 voter guide: Every race, every candidate for voters in the Rochester region

Nicolay anticipates the results of local races by Thanksgiving.

A document provided to News 8 by the Monroe County Democratic Elections Commissioner’s Office said the Board of Elections would begin counting absentee and affidavit ballots on Monday, November 16, after review on Wednesday, November 11.

“The one thing I would encourage people to keep in mind is that accuracy is far more important than speed,” said Kathleen Donovan, a former professor of political science at St. John Fisher College, “and so while we live in a society with instant gratification, and we’re all going to want to know the results, that it’s important that the election officials have the time to count them accurately,” said Donovan.

Voter turnout, Nicolay said, could reach a new peak.

“It’s the first time it’s going to be this type of large numbers of absentees combined with a presidential year, which, we think turnout could actually break a record here in Monroe County,” said Nicolay.

Over the course of three days of early in-person voting, the Monroe County Board of Elections reports 30,561 ballots cast on machines. 7,193 ballots have been dropped off at county early voting locations, the BOE said.

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