How Yakima County Ballots are Processed and Counted - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How Yakima County Ballots are Processed and Counted

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YAKIMA, Wash.- With just six days till Election Day, employees are busy processing thousands of ballots.

"We open the ballots, flap them down, check signatures and they come down here," said Corky Mattingly, the Yakima County Auditor.

Ten Democrats and Republicans divide the ballots into precincts and remove ballots from the purple security envelopes.

"We have no way of tracing the ballot back to the voter," said Mattingly.

Volunteers then scan the images of the ballots onto a computer system. These votes are imprinted onto cards and put away until 8 p.m. on election night.

"We put the cards into the counter and all the info shows up," said Mattingly.

So far, the office has processed 3,000 more ballots than in the 2004 election and voters are still dropping off ballots.

"Some people want to don't want to turn ballots in because they think they might regret the vote," said Mattingly.

A first-time voter says she never received her ballot in the mail and that's why she's waited until now to vote.

"I was freaking out. I told my husband take me to Yakima to get my ballot," said Alicia Delgado, a voter in the Yakima County.

The deadline to vote is Tuesday, so make sure your ballot is post marked or dropped off at the auditor's office by November fourth.

"Final count is not the count on election day. We have several days after elections," said Mattingly.

The Elections office has 3 weeks to verify and count all of the votes. The final count is on November 25th.