New WA election rule allows ballots to be counted early

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by KREM.com & Othello Richards

NWCN.com

Posted on November 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 5 at 6:21 PM

SPOKANE -- For the first time, election workers in Spokane County started processing ballots ahead of Election Day.

Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton said Washington lawmakers changed the procedures and rules, allowing the early tabulating. The new rules allow ballots to be processed one day prior to the election.

Dalton welcomes the change, and said the new rules help speed up the distribution of vote totals.

The counting machines process the ballots and store each vote. Election workers cannot see any results until Tuesday night.

Workers expected to process 130,000 ballots Monday.

Dalton expected to have the first results as early as 8:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Election ballot boxes stay open until Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. across Washington.  Voters can find drop boxes at libraries, the STA Plaza, and their Elections Office. Voters may drop their ballots in the ballots (with a stamp) in the mail.

People in Spokane County can click here to track whether their ballot as been counted.

In Idaho, in-person polling stations are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday.

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