Quote of the Day


ballot opening observer

Last Wednesday I went to the County Auditor's office to be trained as a ballot opening observer. Essentially, I am now allowed to go in and watch the process of the ballots being opened, sorted, counted, etc. Here is what I learned that afternoon:

:: The signatures that we sign on our ballot envelopes are compared – with human eyeballs – to an electronic scan of the signature on the voter application.

:: Six batches of votes (125-150 ballots) are retained for manual counting per state code.

:: Our county uses the 400C machine to count actual paper ballots – not electronic ballots – which are physically retained for 22 months.

:: at 8 pm on election day the tabulation report is run for First Count. Staff may or may not decide to keep counting that evening. They don’t count on the weekends.

:: Manual count will happen on the morning following Election Day.

:: Drop site ballots are also counted the following morning.

:: Ballot Duplication is the process in which ballots that are too smudgy, too soiled, too something to go through the machines are duplicated by hand by the ballot opening board.

:: None of the ballots marked for the Democrats influence the allocation of delegates. Washington State Democrats could vote 100% for Obama in the primary and the Democrat caucus could vote 100% for Clinton.

:: Mail-in ballots are processed as soon as they start to arrive.

:: In the first 3 days of ballots arriving, over 1,000 ballots were disqualified because the party affiliation box was not checked.

On our primary day, I'll be at the courthouse, watching the counting. I'd always wondered how this process was handled.


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