Votes are being counted with "pig and the python" phenomenon in effect

By Madisen Keavy,
CBS Sacramento,
November 9, 2022


Thousands of vote-by-mail ballots are stacked in the Placer County Elections Office waiting to be processed and then counted, as part of the democratic process. 

There are crucial and legal steps that the teams reviewing mail-in ballots must adhere to in California to ensure every vote is accurately counted, there are no duplicate votes, and the signature on the ballot matches the name it's been assigned. 

The process is happening in counties all over the country and across California, especially, due to the fact that all active registered voters in the state receive a vote-by-mail ballot. A shift from two decades in the state, according to voting experts. 

"We saw in the November 2004 election less than a third were vote by mail, and within two days after the election over 80% of all the ballots had been counted." said Kim Alexander, the President of the California Voter Foundation. 

Alexander said compare the November 2004 numbers to the June 2022 primary and the number of vote-by-mail ballots accounts for 90% of votes. 

"This has become the new norm in California which also means long vote counts will also be the new norm." said Alexander. 

Local election officials in San Joaquin County, Sacramento County, and Placer County told CBS13 the number of mail-in ballots delivered to polling locations on Election Day or put in the mail the day before the election has the potential to slow down the counting process as it takes time for those ballots to arrive. Ballots can arrive to election headquarters all over the state up to a week after Election Day. 

"When people hold on to their ballots and cast them on election day it creates this 'pig and the python phenomenon' in election offices where there's this giant pile of ballots that have to be processed and counted after election day." said Alexander. (Full Story)