Rules and procedures for counting ballots
(adopted by the election committee, 2/2/18)
The document covers the rules that will be applied to votes for slates and individual candidates, how ambiguous marks will be interpreted, and the procedures that the election company will follow.
- The procedures that the election company, MK Elections, will follow
All steps are observable. MK Elections has possession of the keys to the post office box that ballots are being mailed to. On the morning of Saturday, March 3, MK Elections will go to the post offices with witnesses, pick up all ballots that are in the box at that time, and deliver them to the counting site. MK Elections will then follow a series of steps:
Scan barcodes on the back of return envelopes to make sure that each ballot is from an eligible voter and one ballot is counted per eligible voter. (Ballots from voters who received replacement ballots will be set aside and manually reviewed to make sure we only count one of their ballots, even if they return more than one.)
Run the outside envelopes through a letter slitter and separate the return envelope from the secret ballot envelope.
Run the secret ballot envelopes through a letter slitter and remove the ballots from the secret ballot envelopes.
Scan ballots using a digital image scanner in batches of 50-100 ballots.
Use software to process the images of the ballots to determine which boxes were filled in.
Review ballots on screen to ensure that each ballot is being counted the way the voter intended and according to the rules of the election.
Production of preliminary and then final elections results.
Production of an election certification report and a CD-ROM containing all of the election data.
Sealing all election records (envelopes, ballots, etc.), along with a copy of the results and the CD-ROM in storage boxes, to be retained for at least one year.
Under SEIU rules, members may vote by slate and/or by individual candidates. Regardless of how you vote (whether by slate, by individual candidates or both), if you vote for more candidates than is allowed in a race, your vote for that race will not count.
- If you fill in both slate boxes, your votes for every race will be invalid.
- If you fill in a slate box and then also fill in one or more boxes for individual candidates in another column for president, secretary-treasurer, recording secretary or trustee, then your vote for that particular race will be invalid, because both slates have complete lists of candidates for president, secretary-treasurer, recording secretary and trustee.
- If you fill in a slate box and fill in one or more boxes for individual candidates for executive board from another column, your vote for executive board will count if the total candidates for executive board in your slate plus the number of individual candidates from other columns is less than or equal to 18. Otherwise, your vote for executive board will be invalid.
- If you vote for a slate and then fill in individual boxes for candidates from that same slate, your vote will count for all candidates from that slate (regardless of which individual candidates you selected).
- Interpreting voters’ marks
If any ballots have marks that are ambiguous, the election committee will rule on the interpretation of the marks. The committee will decide whether or not a mark was an intended choice by the voter. The standard is “clear intent of the voter.” This would apply to marks such as dots, marks that are close to but not inside the box, marks that inadvertently extend from one box to another, and the like.