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Thousands Of Votes Still Have To Be Counted

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Even though most of the polls closed 22 hours ago, thousands of votes still haven’t been counted. CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports the counting could take weeks.

In the county and city, there are 13,000-plus provisional ballots. They have to be counted and verified by November 16th. That’s also the deadline for counting absentee ballots. There are about 14,000 of those that should be counted on Friday.

But right now, about 10,000 ballots are being counted by hand in the Chicago Board of Elections warehouse. Lined up at the board in blue transfer cases are ballots from about 40 precincts.

They were not counted last night because electronic cartridges from the particular polling places were unreadable.

“You’re going to see this in any election, you’re going to have a handful of precincts where the cartridges cannot be read, so we’re gonna have to remake the cartridge,” said Chicago Board of Elections spokesperson Jim Allen.

That means each paper ballot has to be fed by hand into a ballot scanner, to get the results from that precinct.

“We do this in a very public fashion so that anybody can see the materials stay sealed from the polling place to here, and they’re unsealed in front of any of the campaigns who want to watch, any of the news media, any of the public who want to watch,” Allen said.

Quinn’s camp sent at least six representatives to oversee the ballot counting.

A lawyer from the Chicago Board of Elections walked Quinn’s people through the process. Brady sent no one.

Over at the Cook County Clerk’s Election Warehouse, workers were spending the day unpacking bags of ballots. They were not included in Tuesday night’s tally, because they couldn’t be transmitted.

“There are 27 precincts out. We’ve got 15 bags and 13 touch-screens, so that means that one of them is still out,” said Director of Cook County Elections Jan Kralovec.

A total of 9,554 ballots were counted Wednesday at the Cook County Clerk’s Election Warehouse. So, they’re done there.

The results showed Quinn increased his lead by 2,800 votes in suburban Cook County. The Chicago Board of Elections plans to have the unofficial results for all precincts some time Wednesday night.