When and How Are Ballots Counted?

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

The Elections Department processes ballots as they are returned, either by mail or in drop boxes. The first step is signature verification.  We then open envelopes, remove ballots, and unfold them so they are ready to run through the counting equipment.  Assembly Bill 860 allows ballots for the November 3 election to be removed from envelopes and counted starting October 5.  Ballots counted by Election Day will be part of the first results posted shortly after 8 p.m. on November 3.

Ballots received less than four days before the election, on Election Day, or in the grace period following the election will be counted after the election.  Ballots must be postmarked by November 3 and received by November 20 to be counted.  The ballot return envelope must be signed to avoid delays in processing.  The Elections Department will mail a letter to voters giving them the opportunity to fix a signature problem.