About 4,600 Linn County absentee ballots remain unreturned as election workers prepare the first-ever count before Election Day.
“Which is too many,” County Auditor Joel Miller said of the number of unreturned ballots. “But it falls within our historical trending.”
Through Monday afternoon, 44,648 ballots had been returned, about 800 in Monday’s mail. About 40 people at the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, 935 Second St. SW, were opening return-mail envelopes Monday afternoon.
Miller expected the workers to begin scanning ballots later Monday afternoon. In response to continued growth in absentee voting, state lawmakers passed legislation in 2009 allowing ballots to be counted the day before the election. The results won’t be released until polls close Tuesday.
While election workers opened absentee ballots in the government center’s basement, dozens of people waited in line on the building’s second floor to cast their early votes. That led Miller to hope for a smooth Election Day.
“Considering a third of the people already voted before then, I wouldn’t expect any lines,” he said.
Johnson County reported 3,858 of 44,720 absentee ballots requested hadn’t been returned as of Monday afternoon.