She also stressed that residents who cast write-in votes or use a sticker have to remember to fill in the circle next to the write-in spot on the ballot; otherwise, the machine won’t recognize the ballot as a write-in and instead will sort it into a pile with the rest of the non-write-in ballots.
“What happens is when you put your ballot into the machine, if any of those write-in sections has a circle in it, it reads the whole ballot except for that one section, and when it goes through the machine, it flips it into a side of the ballot box that’s for write-ins only,” Kitchin said. “If the sticker is on it, but there is no circle filled, it goes straight in and drops into the part of the ballot box where all the rest of the ballots are.”
Kitchin said she and her team are going to sort through all of the ballots at the end of the night to make sure any write-ins not counted initially are included in the final tally, but the more ballots that are filled out correctly, the sooner they’ll be able to announce the final results.
The preponderance of write-ins is not expected to affect the counting of the city’s other contested races, and the results of the mayoral race and the other City Council races should still be announced minutes after the polls close at 8 p.m.
Kitchin said she doesn’t know how long it will take to count all the write-ins, but she would have the results posted on the city’s website by the end of the night.
“As soon as we finish the write-ins, we’ll have them available,” she said.