BOSTON (WHDH) - As that ballot counting for the preliminary Boston mayoral election continued late into the night and into Wednesday morning, election officials said numbers were constantly changing.

Usually, results start trickling in right at 8 p.m. when the polls close so when 8 p.m. then 9 p.m., and even 10 p.m. rolled around with no updates, voters started questioning what was taking so long.

“It’s not speed, it’s accuracy and honesty and that’s what we’re after,” Boston’s Secretary of State William Galvin said.

Boston Election Commissioner Eneida Tavares told 7NEWS that about 7,000 ballots from all across the city were received via U.S. Mail or by dropbox by the 8 p.m. deadline and must be cross-referenced with voter lists that will be delivered to City Hall to confirm the voters didn’t already vote in person.

“Voters have the option of returning their ballots via dropbox, and as long as the ballots are in by 8 p.m. those ballots must be counted on election day.”

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She said it will be a lengthy process because each ballot must be checked individually.

“When you expand the right to vote — as we have rightly done — it creates a greater administrative burden on the election process and administrators who do it,” Galvin explained.

During the time it took to count those mail-in ballots, the candidates tallied their own votes by putting campaign workers at polling places as votes were counted. Acting Mayor Kim Janey and Councilor Andrea Campbell conceded based on those numbers even before the final tally was announced.

Leaving many to wonder if there is a better way to conduct the democratic process.

“Does it mean we should make them have more people for November? Probably. Does it mean we should push the date by which you have to apply for an early ballot earlier so there would be more time back and forth? Maybe. Does it mean we should amend the law that if postmarked by election day to get it counted a short period of time afterward? I think it might,” said Galvin.

No other community had these problems but, Galvin said Boston is bigger and had more ballots to get through.

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