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Iowa Election Day results roll in quickly, some states delayed

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 5:21 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Despite a record number of Iowans casting their ballots on Election Day, totaling nearly 1.7 million votes, Iowa managed to get them all counted before the end of the night.

That’s as other states, like Michigan and Georgia, continued counting into Wednesday. Results in Pennsylvania could take days.

A record number of voters turned out in Johnson County Tuesday. 88,000 votes were cast, beating the old record by around 5,000.

“We just did not have long lines at 9 o’clock, so that allowed our poll workers to close up shop right away and send us the results,” Travis Weipert, Johnson County Auditor, said.

Weipert said, despite thousands of more votes to count this round, a record number of absentee ballots led to an early result. Pre-canvasing of the nearly 60,000 absentee ballots started Saturday in his office. Unlike some other states, counting early ballots was allowed starting Monday in the state, giving Iowa a head start.

“With us opening the absentee early and starting that process Monday, obviously that was less stress because we had that already tallied ready to put in. You know sometimes we are done with the local precincts and waiting on absentees,” Hayley Ripple, Benton County Auditor, said.

Ripple’s less-populated Benton County increased voter turnout by nearly 5 percent. She said that she and her three-person team were busier than ever before prepping for the count of more absentee ballots this election cycle. Those same absentee ballots are delaying results in other states.

“Most of these states have the same equipment we do or other counties in Iowa, but their secretary of state or legislature has decided you can’t start counting today or you canst start counting the half-million absentee ballots until the polls close on election night,” Weipert said.

A record number of American’s voted early in 2020. Election officials in Michigan were not allowed to open the inner secret sleeve of early ballots or being tabulation until Tuesday. Georgia and other states paused their count until the morning after Election Day.

“If your polls close at 8 o’clock at night and you have to count 500,000 ballots, good luck finding a crew that is going to want to work from 7 o’clock at night until probably 10-11 in the morning and be efficient too,” Weipert said.

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