What caused the Vanderburgh County election results to come in later than expected?

What caused the Vanderburgh County election results to come in later than expected?
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 6:39 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The polls closed at 6 p.m. on November 8, marking the end of voting in the Midterm Elections.

It wasn’t until after 11 p.m. that the final results for Vanderburgh County’s race came in, leaving candidates and much of the public confused.

To run a successful Election Night, there are a lot of moving parts.

With over 100,000 registered voters, election night is a logistical orchestra. Just ask clerk of the Vanderburgh County Circuit Court Carla Hayden.

“It takes literally hundreds of people to put on an election in Vanderburgh County,” says Hayden.

Teams of people were exclusively there to open up envelopes from mail-in ballots, as well as those in-person early voters.

“We had 15 bipartisan teams here starting election morning opening all of those envelopes,” says Hayden.

It takes a large chunk of time, but if you get them early, why isn’t it already done?

“We cannot open those until election day,” explains Hayden.

During Tuesday’s Midterms, it was the envelopes that delayed those results.

They don’t start counting the Election Day votes until all of the early votes are accounted for, and after talking with Hayden, she explained that they were running behind schedule.

“We’re still on a little bit of a learning curve with the new equipment. So, we make our best guess as to how long we think it’s going to take,” says Hayden, “we were fortunate that the ballot openers did agree to stay until they got them all opened. We were hoping they’d be done before 6. They were here until about 8:30 last night.”

Despite the slight delay in results, Hayden says they felt it was a successful night, and waiting until 11 p.m. is a far cry from when they used to be up until 2 a.m. almost guaranteed in the days of voting on punch cards.

As far as future elections go, each one is different, and depending on the race and voter turnout, all they can do is give an estimate on how long it may take to have results.

It’s important to note that the results from Tuesday are still unofficial, and won’t be considered official until the election board meets and certifies it on November 18.

They could still receive military ballots that they need to count.