The election may be over, but there are still hundreds of thousands of ballots left to count in San Diego.
One of the closest Congressional races in the nation hangs in the balance along with the race for County Board of Supervisor for the 3rd District.
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San Diego County Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler has lowered the number of uncounted ballots being processed by staffers.
Registrar officials originally said there were still approximately 475,000 mail-in and provisional votes left to count. Many were mailed in at the last minute, and 275,000 were just dropped off on Election Day.
However on Thursday, the Registrar of voters lowered the total number of outstanding ballots to 375,000, saying that the updated, lower number might shorten the overall counting time by a few days.
The Registrar also noted that the number could change again in the coming days.
Either way, the verification and counting process will be lengthy.
Dozens of people are working all hours to sift through tons of envelopes at the Registrar of Voters. It’s a long, tedious process to get all those votes properly counted.
Each one of the envelopes has to be opened by hand. The signature on each envelope has to be checked to make sure someone is not voting twice. Then, they have to be loaded by hand into the machine to actually scan the votes.
Though it may seem a little outdated to do this by hand, the Registrar of Voters office says it's the only way, so voters shouldn’t expect a faster method any time soon.
"I don't really see a shortcut for all of this. We have to be very meticulous. We have to be very careful. There's a lot at stake. Every vote has to count. And every vote has to count only one time. So, there's really not a very good way that we have around all of this,” said Deborah Seiler of the San Diego Registrar of Voters.
The Registrar said it’s the most ballots they’ve ever had to count. The legal deadline to finish counting all of the votes is by Dec. 4 – a full 28 days after the election.
But, realistically, most of the races still in question will be settled before that. Updates from the Registrar will continue to trickle in as more votes are counted.