Although the polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, for many their votes won’t be counted until March 6.
Mail-in ballots or drop off ballots are not counted until days after the election because of the processing, according to Mike Sanchez, public information officer at the L.A. County voter registrar office.
“We picked up vote by mail drop boxes throughout yesterday and today,” Sanchez said . “Once we have those back in our office here, we’ll do the processing and the verification of signatures and once we verify, then we will count them in the updates that are coming in the next few weeks.”
At the information resource center desk of the University Student Union, a box full of ballots was still waiting to be picked up two days after the election.
“Our number one goal is to make sure every vote does get counted in the tally, and we actually are still receiving vote by mail ballots in the mail today,” Sanchez said. “Up until Friday, as long as they are postmarked on election day, we’ll still process them and count them.”
Rebecca Carranza, commercial services coordinator, said she’s been in contact with the county and has been told the box will be picked up by Thursday afternoon.
“They didn’t give me an exact time, but they said it’ll be picked up today,” Carranza said.
It was unclear how many ballots were in the box, but mail-in ballot envelopes could be seen coming out of the opening slot.
For elections like District 2 in Long Beach, a few votes could make or break a candidate’s position. Currently, Cindy Allen and Robert Fox are separated by just a few votes for the position.
Robert Fox, candidate for Long Beach city council, said that the voting process was an “epic fail.”
“We know more people voted, there’s 52,000 people in District 2,” Fox said.
This year was the first time L.A. County implemented voting centers and the results were less than desirable for many.
“The slow down at some locations was due to the check-in process, as it relates to the electronic poll books, there was some slowness in the sinking of those books and due to that, coupled with some locations that had a high volume of turnout,” Sancheasy said, “that led to long lines, and as of right now we’re turning our attention to, obviously, the remainder of counting of the ballots.”
Reports from polling locations all over the county, including at the Walter Pyramid, put wait times between two to four hours to vote.
Sancheasy said that the county is taking the opportunity to learn from the experiences and implement different policies come November.
“When we do certify the election, we’re going to do a detailed, thorough analysis of not just the equipment, but also the processes and the procedures,” Sanchez said. “Our goal obviously will always be to improve upon the process that happened on March 3, and to improve upon that for every election moving forward.”