Counting absentee ballots has begun

Supervisor of Elections Vicky Oakes told Historic City News that while over 24,000 St Johns County voters have appeared at one-of-six local Early Voting locations since Saturday morning, three familiar faces are already busily tabulating the 16,000 ballots cast by mail or through this year’s greatly enhanced absentee voting program.

Yesterday morning at 9:00 a.m., Oakes, St Johns County Judge Charles Tinlin and St Augustine attorney Robert L “Mac” McLeod, convened at the Elections Office to begin canvassing the mail-in and absentee ballots already returned; representing about 60% of those who requested a ballot.

Voters have until 5:00 p.m. today to request a ballot by mail by calling (904) 823-2238 or toll-free (888) 960-2959. Absentee ballots may be cast as late as 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 6 at the Supervisor of Elections Office located at 4455 Avenue A, Suite 101 in St Augustine.

The Canvassing Board will continue their work on absentee ballots through tomorrow; possibly returning Friday or Monday, if needed.

At 2:00 p.m. on Election Day, the Canvassing Board will begin to wrap-up any remaining absentee ballots, and begin tabulation of General Election returns from the precincts starting at 7:00 p.m.

The Canvassing Board returns on November 9 at 10:00 a.m. to count provisional ballots.

By noon on Saturday, November 10, Oakes must certify the “unofficial election results”.

At 4:00 p.m. on November 16, overseas absentee ballots cast for Federal offices will be canvassed.

The Supervisor of Elections must certify the “official election results” by noon on November 18.

Canvassing board activities are open to all candidates, representatives of political parties, the press and the public. A public inspection of ballots and manual audit will be held at 9:00 a.m. on November 21, 2012 at the Elections Office.