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Bay Area Election Officials Remind Public That Vote Counting Takes Time

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(Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash)

By Tony Hicks
Bay City News

The Coalition of Bay Area Election Officials on Monday reminded election watchers that it takes time to count all votes, and counties have 28 days to complete the official canvass of an election.

The coalition said there are many steps that must be completed to ensure the integrity of the election and that the canvass accomplishes critical tasks, such as ensuring every eligible ballot is counted, that voters only voted once, that proper procedures were followed on Election Day, and that the vote tabulation system is properly counting ballots.

“Processing vote by mail ballots takes time,” the coalition said in a statement. “Each signature is verified prior to preparing the ballot for counting. Vote by mail ballots postmarked on or before Election Day and received up to seven days after Election Day must go through this process as well.”

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“Canvassing votes involves more than just scanning ballots and tallying results,” said Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters Kristin B. Connelly in a statement. “There are many steps to ensure that ballots are counted properly, the equipment is counting correctly, and the integrity of the election is intact.”

During the canvass, voting records are updated based on whether a registered voter voted by mail or in person.

The number of voters is reconciled with the number of ballots cast for each voting location, which is a critical step in ensuring all ballots are accounted for from each voting location.

A statewide voter registration database linking up all 58 counties helps staff ensure voters only voted once.

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Counties must conduct audits of the ballot counting system with a one-percent manual tally, which involves randomly selecting at least one percent of the precincts of ballots cast in person, as well as vote by mail ballots. Then election officials manually count each set of ballots, then compare them to the machine count results.

Like all election activities, the canvass is open to the public. Voters can contact their county elections office for more details on how to observe election activities.

Information on this topic, as well as direct links to local elections offices, can be found at BayAreaVotes.org, or on Facebook at Bay Area Votes.

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