Processing Vote by Mail Ballots

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

Rev. 5/22/23

Watch the video and read below to learn what happens once your voted ballot is sent in.

Once vote-by-mail ballots are returned by mail, by drop-box, or vote center it goes through a series of steps:

  1. The ballots are run through a ballot sorting machine that reads the barcode on the outside of the yellow ballot return envelope that is connected to the voter and credits that ballot as returned.
  2. Election staff do a visual comparison between the voter’s signature on the return envelope and their voter registration.
    • If it is determined a match, the ballot is flagged as “Good” and it is ready for the next step in the process.
    • If it is not a match or missing a signature, the ballot is flagged as “Challenged” and the voter is sent a letter to correct their signature.
  3. Ballots are run through the sorter again, the sorter:
    • Sorts the ballots by “Good” and “Challenged”.
    • Sorts the “Good” ballots by precinct.
    • Slices open the “Good” ballots for removal.
  4. “Good” ballots are confidentially removed from the return envelope by election staff and prepared for counting.
  5. The “Good” ballots are then run through the tabulator machine that counts the votes to be included in the election results.