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Tue., Nov. 6, 2012, 8:03 a.m.

Clerk’s Office Predicts Long Night

The Kootenai County Elections Department is looking at a long night. "Or a short morning," said Pat Raffee, chief deputy clerk, on Monday. To avoid impacting today's election outcome, the Elections Department won't start counting absentee ballots until polls close at 8 p.m. today, the county Clerk's Office announced on Monday. On top of that, it's hard to predict when votes cast at the polls will be delivered to the Elections Office for counting tonight, Raffee said. "If we have a high turnout, it will take a long time for them to balance the poll books before they deliver them to us," Raffee said. ... Roughly 18,000 absentee votes had been submitted to the county by Monday, Raffee said. ... The county could legally start counting absentee ballots this morning, Raffee acknowledged. But there are security concerns over running ballots through the machines while the polls are still open, she said/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: The county Elections Department can legally begin counting the absentee ballots before the polls close on Election Day. Should it do so, to provide vote totals somewhat earlier?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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