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Election 2022 Midday update: “Vote centers are rocking!” says Chaffee Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell.

Chaffee County at mid-day Tuesday, November 8 had received 1,146 mail ballots back already, for a total of 9,733 ballots cast as of 1:21 p.m. The total in-person votes cast for the election has reached 230.

Election 2022 Update as of 3:30 p.m.: 9,970 mail ballots turned back in and 274 in-person ballots.

Election 2022 Update as of 4:45 p.m.:  2,058 mail ballots returned today for a running total of 10,645 mail ballots. In-person votes;  332. This means one in every five ballots received in Chaffee County was returned on Tuesday, Nov. 8

A message from Chaffee Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell: for those passing through or visiting the county who worry they can’t make it to their home vote centers in time, “If voters live in another Colorado County they can drop their mail ballot in one of Chaffee’s boxes and we can receive it and get to the proper county.”

Patience is the Watchword today and for the rest of this week

Both locally and across the country, voters may need to have a little patience as they wait to learn the results of the 2022 midterm election. Frankly, we may not know tonight the status of a local ballot question, who our next county commissioner will be, or the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. It all depends upon what the voters do today.

“Staff and Judges work really hard to get those first unofficial results up as close to 7:00 p.m. as possible,” says Mitchell. “If we get a lot of late voters, these first results may not mean much. If there are a lot of late votes we may not know the results till sometime Wednesday as I will not have the Judges work past 11:00 p.m.” said Mitchell. “The voters have this in their hands. The earlier voters get their votes in, the more comprehensive the results will be shortly after 7:00 p.m. on Election Night.”

With several tight races across the country that will decide the balance of power in the United States Congress, and major issues on the ballot locally and underlying this election, election day 2022 could not be more tense — or more important to the country’s future.

While Colorado is known as the gold standard of election processes, in states such as Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, Michigan, and Wisconsin it may be a week or 10 days before election results are known.

Not only are elections in those states neck and neck, but in states like Wisconsin, the state legislature actually removed most mail ballot boxes, forcing people to stand in long lines to vote in-person on election day. In some other states, early votes cannot begin to be counted until today, while others wait to begin counting early votes until after polls close on election night – leading to more delays in results.

Already today according to the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting Executive Director Brandon Quester, some malfunctioning ballot machines in Maricopa County, Arizona began to reject one in every five ballots. Voters could wait, go to another polling location, or put their ballots in a locked box (like Colorado’s Mail Ballot boxes).

The Maricopa County 2022 Elections Command Center just confirmed the cause as printer settings not producing dark enough timing marks due most likely to poor pre-election machine testing. No matter the cause, it led to misinformation on a day — in a state — when it isn’t needed.