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Official election results could be slower than past years due to number of mail-in ballots

Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 1:11 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - More than one third of registered voters have already voted, by mail or early, in the 2020 General Election.

According to information from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, over 685,000 ballots have already been returned to county auditors in the state. In Illinois, records are being broke as well with over 2.6 million ballots returned.

“That’s almost evenly split between 1.3 million votes cast by mail and 1.3 million cast at early voting locations,” Matt Dietrich, Public Information Officer for the Illinois State Board of Elections, said.

In 2016, official numbers in the state of Illinois resulted in 1.9 million votes through mail and early voting, but the question of voter turnout on Election Day remains and officials are waiting to find out.

“If Illinois were to have a typical voter turnout for a presidential election, typically from 1976 to 2016 we’ve had an average of 73 percent turnout. If we get that this year we’ll have in the area of six million votes cast total. We’ve already had more than 40 percent of that number cast by mail,” Dietrich said.

With the large increase of voting by mail, election results could return slower than past years, as ballots are still being returned to county offices.

“I think you’re going to have potentially a few hundred thousand vote by mail ballots that are going to trickle in after November 3rd to be counted because they’re properly postmarked. It could be more than that," Dietrich said.

The State of Illinois requires mailed ballots to be postmarked no later than Election Day. Iowa requires ballots postmarked no later than Monday, Nov. 2.

You can also drop your ballot off at your county office.

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