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Mon Nov 12, 2018, 07:16 PM

Counting ballots and counting votes are NOT the same thing. I have been counting mail in

ballots for a couple of elections at the county level and have asked a lot of questions.

Like any job, you fill out a form: name, address, phone number etc. Unlike many jobs, we had to fill out a form for the NSA (shrugs on why, that was the first year that was needed) . On voting day, we are sequestered and take an oath of office to support and defend the constitution of the US and our state.

I don't know too much about how this is done but....the signatures are verified, counted and then go to the envelope opener thingy. The secrecy envelope is taken out of the signature envelope, counted and sorted into a bag according to precinct. The number of ballots have been counted and put on a sheet of paper on the outside of the bag and the bag is locked with an identifiable number for just that bag. Every single step is counted and recorded with initials. Including empty envelopes.

This is what I know and do...

3 people to a table. A locked bag is placed on our table. We count all the envelopes. If the number matches the bag number, we continue. If it doesn't, we count it again. If it still does not come out, we get a supervisor. If the count is correct we then take the ballots out of the envelopes. Separate them into pages (pg 1, 2 etc). We then count each page to make sure that number matches the bag. (As I am typing this I am laughing my tail off because sometimes we DO count more than we need too) If the numbers all match, we back bend the crap out of the ballots for them to flow easier through the machine. If there are any that are sticky, too wrinkled or whatever, we put them on the top of the stack so the machine operator can see it may be an issue. If there is an issue they are given to a supervisor and given to another set of people who will duplicate those ballots, stamp it saying duplicate, writing SPOILED on the ballot that had issues. The spoiled ballot goes into an envelope and the good ballot is returned to the machine for counting.

The overseas ballots are handled a bit differently. They are just on a fax sheet and they have to be put onto a regular ballot for the machine. Again, 3 people to a table. One reads the votes, one records them on a ballot and the third verifies that all was done correctly. They then go to the machine.

As far as the machines go... they are NOT connected online. They do NOT show what the vote tally is. It just verifies that the 943 ballots in that precinct is 943 and the vote tally itself is hidden from view from everyone. At the end of the night the machines issue a report and that report is given to the supervisor and then it is called into the SoS office.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Counting ballots and counting votes are NOT the same thing. I have been counting mail in (Original post)
GemDigger Nov 2018 OP
Wellstone ruled Nov 2018 #1
onecaliberal Nov 2018 #2
GemDigger Nov 2018 #5
onecaliberal Nov 2018 #6
MontanaMama Nov 2018 #3
GemDigger Nov 2018 #4
lark Nov 2018 #7
GemDigger Nov 2018 #8

Response to GemDigger (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2018, 07:21 PM

1. That is my understanding how

 

it is supposed to happen. Again,thanks for being a volunteer for our Democracy.

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Response to GemDigger (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2018, 07:26 PM

2. Thanks for the lesson.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 12, 2018, 11:33 PM

5. Thanks for reading it.

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Response to GemDigger (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 13, 2018, 12:22 AM

6. Love reading, especially when I can learn something new.

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Response to GemDigger (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2018, 10:15 PM

3. Thank you for this explanation GemDigger.

K&R. Iím hoping you cross posted this OP. Folks need to see how this works. Iím comforted to know people like you are counting the MT vote.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2018, 11:32 PM

4. You're welcome.

Thank you. I think everyone should volunteer at least once. What was amazing this time is that there were many young people volunteering too.

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Response to GemDigger (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2018, 10:07 AM

7. I volunteered to help with the vote counting for Sen. Nelson.

Guess I'll hear today if they need me for the rest of the week. I've filled out several forms so far, but none from NSA, so maybe I haven't gotten that far yet?

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Response to lark (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 13, 2018, 10:16 AM

8. The form was small, a paragraph or two at most on a 8x10 paper. I am not sure if it is a nationwide

requirement or just for this state. It didn't ask for any information, just a signature.

Edited to add: This was the first year for that form.


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