Duplication and Adjudication

(Reference Election Rule 18.4)

Ballots that cannot be read by scanners must be duplicated to be counted. These ballots include damaged ballots (ballots with water damage, coffee stains, damaged timing marks, printing errors, etc.), ballots marked with red ink, military and overseas ballots, special district ballots, and provisional ballots. All ballots requiring duplication are given to a bipartisan resolution board which examines each race on the ballot individually. The board maintains a duplication log with a record of each ballot’s precinct, style, and reason for duplication.

The resolution board then passes the ballot on to an individual input judge who recreates the ballot on a ballot marking device specifically designated for ballot duplication. The original ballot is labeled with a unique identifier (e.g., “Original Ballot 0001”) and duplicated using the ballot marking device. The duplicated ballot that prints out is labeled with a corresponding unique identifier (e.g., “Duplicate Ballot 0001”) which ties it to the original ballot.

The input judge passes the duplicated ballot on to a bipartisan review board. This board ensures the ballot was properly duplicated by comparing the original ballot and duplicate ballot side-by-side. If any aspect of the duplicated ballot is incorrect, the duplicated ballot is spoiled, and the original ballot is returned to an input judge to be correctly duplicated. Once verified, the original ballots are separated and sealed for storage, while the duplicated ballots move forward to the standard ballot counting process. The original ballots, duplicated ballots, and duplication logs are all retained under seal and stored for 25 months following the election.

(Reference Election Rule 18.5)

Ballots successfully read by a scanner that were found to have overvotes, undervotes, write-in votes, and/or ambiguous markings must have voter intent resolved prior to tabulation. Ballots meeting these conditions are reviewed and resolved in accordance with the Secretary of State’s Voter Intent Guide by a bipartisan adjudication team. The adjudicated ballot image is marked digitally, and an audit log of the adjudication team’s decisions is attached to the record.