Delayed Shelby Co. election results explained - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Delayed Shelby Co. election results explained

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Early and absentee ballot results came in three hours after the polls close, roughly two hours late.

It seems heavy voter turnout and more technologically savvy voters did not mix.

A combination of having people still in line and dealing with the absentee ballots that were emailed back," explained Shelby County Commission Chairman Robert Meyers.

The early and absentee returns slowdown began with long lines at polling places all over Shelby County.

"We didn't want to publish any results until substantially all of those people had a chance to cast their ballot," said Meyers.

That is because, in the time of instant communication, releasing results before people vote could jeopardize voter participation.

"If we're publishing results, it might discourage people from voting if they think the person they would have voted for has already won or already lost," Meyers explained.

As the night wore on, voters got anxious. To boot, the Election Commission said they had 7,000 absentee ballots to process. Many of them were sent via e-mail

"We had a lot of people who were eligible to email their ballots back into us," said Meyers.

The e-mail ballots are not scannable like the mail-ins.

"We have to take that information and transpose it onto a scannable ballot using a team of two people, one Republican and one Democrat," he added.

Meyers said they held a meeting after the election to go over improvements.

They are considering new voter registration software.

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