Duplicating Damaged Ballots

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

Overview — When Ballots Must be Duplicated

Ballots that the scanner will reject must be either duplicated or enhanced so that they can go through the scanner and be counted. Following are the types of situations where ballots must be duplicated:

  • Ballots voted on regular paper (generally these are 60-day ballots)
  • Ballots that are torn across the timing marks (black dashes along edge of ballot)
  • Ballots defaced with spills or punctures
  • Ballots where voter has made a correction that shows clearly how the voter intended to vote, but it is impossible for the scanner to read it

Procedures — Two People Work as a Team

  1. Sort ballots to be duplicated by precinct number.
  2. Pull blank ballots to match the number of ballots to be duplicated within each precinct. Tear off voter receipt at top of ballot as needed.
  3. Assign a serial number to use on the damaged and blank ballots. The format of the number is a combination of type of ballot, precinct number and sequential number, VBM 1-X. Example: VBM-1001-1, VBM-1001-2, etc.
    FED — outside the United States indefinitely (federal offices only)
    OSM — outside the United States temporarily or in the military
    POL — polling place or provisional ballot
    VBM — vote-by-mail or "all mail" precinct
  4. Write the serial number, in red ink, in the upper right corner of both the damaged and blank ballot.
  5. Stamp VOID on the damaged ballot.
  6. Stamp DUPLICATE on the blank ballot.
  7. One team member reads from the damaged ballot while the other team member marks the blank ballot.
  8. Fill out the duplication log sheet for each ballot being duplicated and check the reason for the duplication.
  9. Both team members initial the voided and the duplicated ballot.
  10. Store the VOIDED ballots boxes marked as follows: VOID DAMAGED BALLOTS, type of ballot (VBM, POLLS, etc.), and the name and date of the election. Number the boxes 1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc. as needed.
  11. Store DUPLICATE ballots, rubber-banded together in precinct order, in boxes that correspond to the boxes of voided ballots and mark in center of box, no more than 4" wide, as follows: DUPLICATES TO BE COUNTED, type of ballot (VBM, POLLS, etc.),date of the election and precinct range. Number the boxes 1 of X, 2 of X, etc. as needed.

Count the duplicate ballots together by type of ballot (VBM, POLL, etc.). Mark box of counted duplicated ballots as follows: COUNTED DUPLICATE BALLOTS, type of ballot, batch number, and date of election.

Store voided ballots in ballot room in case they have to be matched up with the duplicated ballots during a recount after the election.

Rev. 8/4/2011