Reconcile Precinct Ballots and Rosters
After the polls close, poll workers post one copy of the results tape outside the polling place. The chief and deputy inspectors are responsible for accounting for all of the used and unused ballots from that precinct, and for completing the ballot statement on the front cover of the roster. After poll workers have completed the ballot statement, they seal all voted ballots, the roster and the results tapes from the Accuvote in separate containers. The chief inspector and one other poll worker deliver the sealed containers and the Accuvote with the memory card sealed inside, to their assigned receiving centers. From the receiving centers, Sheriff's deputies accompanied by one rider, transport all items to the Elections office where Elections staff check in and count the ballots. In Marin County, the canvass begins on the day after the election. One step in the canvass is to reconcile the ballots and rosters using the following 3 steps:
- Step 1: Compare the number of voted ballots on the Accuvote tape with the number of ballots counted for the precinct on the Statement of Vote (SOV) to make sure they match. Check off each precinct on the SOV.
- Step 2: Reconcile the number of ballots issued to the precinct inspector before election day to the total number of ballots used and unused in the precinct to make sure that the number of ballots that went to the precinct is the same number that was returned from the precinct.
- Step 3: Reconcile the number of voters who signed the roster with the number of voted ballots to make sure that the number of voted ballots matches the number of voters who signed the roster.
If the numbers in any of these steps don't match, the supervisor follows up to reconcile the difference.
Procedures — Reconcile Precinct Ballots and Rosters
Duties on Days 1–2 After the Election
On the day after the election, Logistics staff brings the following items to Room 119:
- Rosters — in precinct order within supervisory district;
- Vote by mail ballots — bags in polling place order;
- Provisional ballots — bags in polling place order;
- Results tape envelopes from each Accuvote in precinct order (includes both the results and audit tapes); and
- Voted, uncounted ballots, including Automark ballots, in their envelopes in precinct order.
Logistics staff stores the following items in their respective precinct bins in the Logistics area:
- Spoiled ballots and surrendered VBM ballots — envelopes; and
- Unused Accuvote and Automark ballots in boxes or envelopes.
Voted ballots are stored in polling place order in the Logistics area. Supervisor of the Roster Balancing Board assigns staff to enter the numbers from the Ballot Statement and EIMS reports on the Roster Balancing Spreadsheet.
Steps in Balancing the Rosters (Usually Begins on the Monday After the Election)
Step 1: Compare the number of voted ballots on the Accuvote tape with the number of ballots counted on the Statement of Vote (SOV).
- Write the date and names of the Board members on the top of a copy of the SOV report.
- Compare the total ballots counted in each precinct from the Accuvote tape to the total number of ballots counted on the Statement of Vote. If there are multiple precincts on the tape, be sure to record the number of voted ballots from the correct precinct on the worksheet.
- Subtract the number on the tape from the number on the SOV. The result should be zero.
- If the two numbers match, check off the precinct on the SOV.
- If the two numbers do not match, recheck the numbers. If unable to resolve, refer to supervisor.
- Randomly select one precinct in each ballot type and follow the procedures above to check the results for each candidate/measure on the ballot in that precinct.
- Check the audit tapes on any Accuvote that malfunctioned during election day.
- The supervisor of the Roster Balancing Board will check the balancing statements for discrepancies and will follow up on unresolved discrepancies with the Inspector of the precinct.
Step 2: Compare the number of ballots issued to the precinct inspector before election day with the total number of ballots in the precinct when the polls close.
- Write the date and names of the Board members on the top of the Roster Balancing Spreadsheet. The Assistant Registrar will insert the precinct numbers and number of ballots ordered for each precinct on the spreadsheet.
- Transfer numbers from the ballot statement on the roster to the corresponding columns 2–6 of the spreadsheet.
- Add the total number of used and unused ballots in the precinct.
- Subtract this total from the total number of Accuvote and Automark ballots ordered for the precinct. The result should be zero.
- If the numbers balance, no further action is needed.
- If the numbers do not balance, recount each category of ballot to find discrepancy. If unable to resolve, refer to supervisor.
- The supervisor of the Roster Balancing Board will resolve discrepancies and will follow up on unresolved discrepancies with the inspector of the precinct.
Step 3: Compare the number of Voters who signed the Roster with the number of voted ballots and reconcile the difference.
- Fill out the Roster Balancing Spreadsheet with the information from the Roster Statement.
- Add the total number of voted counted and uncounted ballots in the precinct.
- Subtract this total from the total number of voters who signed on the white pages of the Roster. The result should be zero.
- If the numbers balance to zero, no further action is needed.
- If the result is not zero and there is no explanation of why, do the following:
- Recheck your numbers. For example: check the addition of the different categories of ballots.
- Compare number of signatures reported on front cover of roster with the number of signatures on EIMS report of scanned rosters.
- Examine the roster for notes or poll worker errors that could explain the discrepancy.
- The supervisor of the Roster Balancing Board will check the balancing statements for discrepancies and will follow up on unresolved discrepancies with the inspector of the precinct.
Reports and Supplies Needed
- Ballot receipts
- Election night Statement of Vote
- Adding machine — for each team of 2 people
- Roster balancing spreadsheet
- Provisional ballots
- Spoiled ballot envelopes
- Automark voted uncounted ballots
- Unused Accuvote ballots
- Unused Automark ballots
- Voted ballots
- Results and audit tapes from each Accuvote
- Pencils, highlighters
- EIMS report of scanned ballots
- EIMS report of provisional ballots
For an election with federal candidates, when balancing work is complete and all discrepancies are resolved, file the reports in the election file and keep for twenty-two (22) months from the date of the election. Original rosters are kept for five years. However, if the rosters are filmed, they can be destroyed following the next general election. (EC Code Sec. 17300). All ballots and ballot receipts must be kept for twenty-two (22) months after the date of the election. (EC 17301). See alternative procedures for unused ballots (EC 14404). Material from local elections is preserved for six months.