Thousands of absentee ballots still being counted in Grand Rapids

The City of Grand Rapids is still in the process of tabulating the 85,000+ absentee ballots received
Posted at 12:28 PM, Nov 04, 2020

Elections staffers are busy Wednesday continuing the process of tabulating the 85,000+ absentee ballots cast in the city.

Workers spent all Tuesday and into Wednesday working inside an empty exhibition hall at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids to tabulate the tens of thousands of ballots. According to the city's spokesperson, Steve Guitar, they began the process Tuesday with a little over 85,000 absentee ballots.

Guitar tells us that Grand Rapids City Clerk Joel Hondorp expects all of the ballots to be tabulated at some point Wednesday.

"We'd rather get the count right and accurate than be expedient," Guitar said.

When staff finds a ballot with improper markings, or unclear markings, the ballot's significance must be adjudicated.

"We have a Republican and the Democrat challenger over there looking at each ballot that pops up," Guitar said.

"Then they decide if that.. the decision on that ballot, in that race. And that's what's taking the amount of time."

Guitar says the tabulating machines can handle stacks of about 25 ballots at a time.

FOX 17 has a crew inside DeVos Place and will provide updates as they become available.