Hold your horses before you assume that any close races in Alameda County are a done deal. County spokesman Guy Ashley estimated that the Registrar of Voters received at least 20,000 absentee ballots by mail yesterday. None of these ballots have yet been counted or added to final vote totals. In addition, an unknown number of absentee ballots were dropped off at polling places throughout the county yesterday. When asked to quantify the number of ballots dropped off on election day, Ashley, a former reporter, would only describe the volume as "a lot" -- noting that ballot boxes were stuffed full at some polling places. County employees will spend today scanning the ballots received in the mail and going through the ones dropped off at polling places. Close races such as the one in which Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington narrowly leads his opponent, might yet be affected by these uncounted votes. In the meantime, can someone please explain why every "improvement" to the voting process somehow feels like a step backward?