PHOENIX - What seems like an easy task -- feeding thousands of early ballots into a machine is actually more complicated, says Elizabeth Bartholomew of the County Recorder's office.
"Because we receive those ballots on the day of the election, they need to be signature verified, processed and ready for tabulation, so that's what we'll be doing today.. get them ready for tabulation tomorrow morning."
The number of early ballots waiting to be tabulated? About 400,000.
"We can only tabulate so much in a day. It's about 100,000, maybe a little more."
Bartholomew says on Tuesday, more than 200,000 voters dropped off early ballots at their polling places around Maricopa County. There were nearly 200,000 early ballots already in house and combined, that leaves over 400,000 early ballots to still be tabulated.
One of the races hanging in the balance - Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell. Down roughly 9,000 votes to challenger Adrian Fontes, Purcell's position is in jeopardy this election.
Long lines and frustration during the Presidential Preference election last Summer are partly to blame for voter backlash against the county recorder.
We estimate about 415,000 early ballots left to be processed and tabulated and around 55,000 provisional still to be researched.— Helen Purcell (@RecorderPurcell) November 9, 2016