Absentee ballot tallying underway

Posted at: 11/02/2012 5:03 PM
Updated at: 11/02/2012 7:44 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The vote counting is already under way in New Mexico for Election 2012 - even though Election Day is still four days away.

Bernalillo County election workers are tackling the time consuming task of opening absentee ballots, checking signatures, sorting them and getting everything ready for the actual tabulation of votes.

They have about 30,000 absentee ballots already, and expect another 10,000.

It sounds like a lot, but it's only appoximately half of the mail-in absentee votes compared to the last presidential election four years ago. That's because more people are voting in person at early voting locations.

"It does look like we're on track to hit a new record for early voting turnout," said Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver. "In 2008 we had 126 thousand early voters. She should probably hit that by today or very early tomorrow."

That leaves all day saturday for more voters to cast their ballots early.

"I think a lot of people are really involved at this time of year," said William Watkins after early voting in Downtown Albuquerque. " I think it's good that they get in and vote early. I think Albuquerque has actually done a very good job of getting people in to vote."

"There weren't any empty places inside there, no empty booths inside," said Tracy Nichols after casting her ballot Downtown.  You'd better get out and vote, or you don't get to complain about what happens."

Election watchers expect about 130,000 early voters in Bernalillo County.

Early voting locations are open until 8:00 p.m. Friday, then from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday.

After that, voters will have to wait until Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, when the polls statewide will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.