The reason states took longer to count ballots

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OrnaW via pixabay

A ballot box where ballots for the 2020 election would be collected

Jonathan Chiles, Arts and Entertainment Editor

In the recent election, there was controversy surrounding how long certain states took to count their votes. While the majority of the states managed to get their votes counted within a day or two, a handful of states took over a week to get everything counted.

This left many Americans wondering why? 

To best understand why it is crucial to understand the ballot counting process. Before any votes can be counted, the ballots need to be recorded and collected. Once they have been collected, the ballots need to be delivered to centers where they will be counted. The delivery is generally conducted by trucks, but depending on the size of the county, helicopters are used as well.

From there, ballots are scanned into memory cards that are used to count the ballots. This process is done in a way that is completely disconnected from the internet in order to prevent hackers from meddling with the counting of the ballots. After that, the results are taken to the individual state’s Secretary of State’s office where the results are posted on their website. Finally, the electoral college for the state meets and casts their votes.

The process involves many steps and time to ensure accuracy. Some states have even more steps involved and force their ballots to be counted at a slower pace in order to keep things as accurate as possible. These states require ballots to be counted in certain intervals which drags out the process even further.

On top of that, there are a lot more mail-in ballots that need to be accounted for this year and those can take longer to count.

The combination of an already lengthy process and further guidelines put in place to ensure accuracy and eliminate fraud causes the ballot counting process to take a large amount of time in comparison to other states.

Junior Ryan Vance weighed in on the dilemma of accuracy versus speed. “It is more important for the election to be accurate. If we need to move the election up in order to account for this extra time, then we should,” he shared. “It’s important to not have a corrupt election system, both for the presidency and people’s opinions of the country.”

Junior Bryan Caraman also believes that accuracy is more important than speed. ”Any election, especially a divisive one, requires accuracy over speed. The speed at which results come out is not as important since we have to live with our choice for years to come,” he explained.

Due to how close the presidential race seemed to be, many people were anticipating the results of the election. States like Nevada and Pennsylvania that took longer to count ballots were accused of election fraud and were the target of memes

While some Americans were upset with how long it took for the ballots to get counted others were content to wait. As the dust settles it seems like America will be seeing a new president in office and with him a fresh start.