Election Clerk Prefers to Count Absentees Last

Sheridan County Election Clerk Brenda Kekich prefers to hold the absentee vote count until all county precincts results have been tallied on election night.

That can lead to surprises, as in the August Primary Elections when voters at the polls on election day favored challenger Ryan Mulholland over incumbent John Patton for the Wyoming House District 29 seat. Patton emerged as the victor by a 22-vote margin only after absentee ballots were released.

But the election clerk said waiting to release the absentee results keeps vote-counting operations in her office moving smoothly after the polls close. But that isn't the only reason she prefers to save the absentees for last.

Wyoming statute sets no requirements regarding how absentee ballots are counted. Methods vary from releasing absentee votes first, last or included with each precinct.

Absentee voting is under way now for the November general elections, and ballots will be accepted until 7 o'clock on election night. Anyone who is registered to vote may vote absentee rather than at the polls on election day.