Why some Jefferson Co. ballots still being counted may not impact projected election results

Why some Jefferson Co. ballots still being counted may not impact projected election results

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Even after election day, ballots are still being counted in Kentucky and across the country. Amid the pandemic, thousands of mail-in ballots were requested that will take days to process as they continue to make their way through the mail.

Nore Ghibaudy with the Jefferson County Clerk’s office explains the final vote is never clear until days after the election.

“So many people go and vote on Election Day and they don’t really understand the process. It takes many steps and many people,” he said.

A bipartisan team of election workers at the Jefferson County Election Center continues to count votes from any outstanding absentee, military, and provisional ballots. Any remaining absentee ballots collected from drop boxes before 6 p.m. on Tuesday will also be counted in the coming days.

Jefferson County voters requested more than 174,000 absentee ballots for the general election; thousands have not yet been returned.

Ghibaudy said that any absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 will be counted as long as they arrive in the mail by Nov. 6 at 6 p.m.

So what happens if enough ballots are counted after Nov. 3 to sway the course of an election? Ghibaudy believes it’s not likely for certain races.

“It all depends on how close the races are,” he said. “Senate seats are statewide so we may have great numbers for someone here in Jefferson County - that may not be so in the rest of the state. So it’s going to balance itself out.”

In Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump were projected as the winners in their respective races early Tuesday night; both handily won their races with large margins. In contrast, a number of Louisville elections including some Metro Council seats were won with very small margins Tuesday that could be overturned once every vote is counted.

UofL visiting professor Dr. Gene Mazo tells WAVE 3 voters should not be surprised when they see candidates “gain” votes or “catch up” to their opponent in the days following an election.

“This is a phenomenon that election law scholars understand and know about and they sometimes refer to it as the big blue wave,” he said. “You think of it as a gain but I don’t think of it as a gain. I think of it as we just haven’t counted the ballots from the urban cities.”

Mazo agreed the chance of swaying a statewide election in Kentucky is slim at this stage. However, in states like Michigan and Wisconsin that have seen presidential election results evolve since Tuesday, Mazo explained that voter fraud is not a likely cause.

“The incidents of voter fraud that are prosecuted are 5 or 12 times out of billions and billions of votes cast,” he said. “The evidence is so minuscule.”

Local election officials in Kentucky have a deadline of Nov. 10 to send election results to the state.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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