Iowa’s Commissioner of Elections says the official vote total and the status of the state’s seven electoral votes won’t be officially known until next week. Secretary of State Chet Culver says there are still over 13-thousand provisional ballots to be counted. He says in 2002 there were an estimated eight-thousand provisional ballots, so this year’s amount is consistent with the last election because we had a higher turnout. Special panels in each county will meet Thursday to determine which provisional ballots will be counted. Culver says last time 70 to 75-percent of the votes were counted. Culver says there are also still 30 to 50-thousand absentee ballots still out. He says that’s based on the fact that roughly 500-thousand absentee ballots were requested — almost twice as many as were requested in 2002. The county board of superisors will canvass the votes next Monday and Tuesday and they’ll then become official results. Culver says they’ll have an unofficial state vote total after the special boards meet — an it will likely be a record total. He says the news of the day, is the record one-point-five million Iowans who went to the polls, representing 75-percent turnout. He says that could be close to being the best in the nation. Culver has touted Iowa’s voting process as one of the best in the nation, he was asked about how problems in counting the votes in some counties impacted on his claims. He says Iowa is still one of the best. He says we have no systemic errors, no irregularities, no lawsuits and no recounts. Culver says the reason we don’t have a declared winner is because we have to wait until the vote is official next week and we had a record turnout.
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