High Number of Mail-in Ballots in CA Raises Concern of Late Vote Tally

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A record number of Californians is casting mail-in ballots for today's presidential primary, one factor that is expected to lead to a later-than-normal vote tally.

Voter interest is running high, with both the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries hotly contested. That's causing many of the 5.5 million voters who requested absentee ballots to wait until the last minute to make a decision.

That could lead some counties to delay final results until tomorrow or later. Mail-in ballots that are received on Election Day can be counted only after precinct votes are tallied and then must go through a time-consuming verification process.

With about 50 percent of ballots expected to be mail-in, registrars are warning that 20 percent or more of all ballots may go uncounted on Election Night.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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