Mail-in election mess

Ballots dropped off on Election Day clogging the works

On Election Day, as Butte County Clerk Candace Grubbs was making the rounds of polling places, she was approached by a man carrying two mail-in ballots, one his, the other his wife’s. They hadn’t mailed in their ballots, and so he was turning them in that day.

He asked Grubbs how soon they would be counted. As she later told the CN&R, she replied that it could be as much as 28 days. The man wanted his vote counted as soon as possible, so he surrendered his mail-in ballot and voted in one of the polling-place booths. His vote was counted in a matter of hours; his wife’s was among the more than 14,000 Butte County mail-in ballots—and more than 2 million statewide—that are still being counted and are why so many races, locally and elsewhere, are still undecided.

Mail-in voting is convenient, but the ballots clog the system if voters drop them off on Election Day. If you receive a mail-in ballot, do us all a favor: Mail it in. A month is too long to wait for election results.