This step addresses the issuance of the ballots to the voter after the voter authentication process.This is an important step, as it effects the entire operation and the last step that occurs in the secure ballot holding room. In general this step addresses control of the ballots in total as they are delivered from the printer. The ballots are designed for this process with serialized numbers. In addition to serialized matching numbers, a vertical bar watermark is printed over the perforations. This creates a unique exact matching capability for authentification of the stub and ballot at the end of the proces. This will make it impossible to introduce fake ballots into the process at anytime. The ballot and the stub can be matched by three distinct qualities: a number, control lines, and color, as each batch of 500 is printed on colored paper to help authentication of the stub and ballot as a final authentification process.
At no time does the serialized numbers, ballot/stub watermark, or coloring compromise the voter's anonymity. It would be impossible to associate among a batch of 500 or hundreds of batches of 500 unique ballots, any one ballot with a singular voter. This is statistically improbable and illogical to any specific political argument against 100% chain-of-custody necessity
The collection Ballot Box collects the marked-up ballots from each voter as they exit the ballot privacy booths. The voter shall put the ballot in the collection box with their own hands. Ballots will not be folded. The collection box will be semi-transparent to maintain secrecy while allowing multi-partisan observers to witness the ballot entering the ballot box and to determine when it is full. At a minimum the following handling requirements shall be followed.(this list is not complete and needs more development 03/21/2021):
The Batch Room's purpose is to batch the ballots into counting lots of 500 ballots per ballot box. Lots of 500 allow easier handling, tracking, and counting. The multi-partisan team will properly document the batching of the ballots. A paper sheet counter will speed this process, counting and batching into lots of 500. The ballots will be put into the appropriate containers, sealed to prevent tampering, movement sheets signed, and sent to Counting Room #1. 03/21/2021):
The ballot box is a standard container of 500 ballots. This corresponds to the total squares on the standard tally sheet per candidate. A tally sheet cannot have more than 500 marks per candidate as they are coordinated to the quantity of ballots. This facilitates any audit processes that need to occur to ensure 100% COC. The ballot box cannot move from any space without the movement process being followed. The ballot box must also be sealed with plastic seals prior to being moved. Every ballot box is numbered with a unique number. The ballot boxes are never separated from their 500 ballot batch. This is controlled in the counting room, where ballots are never co-mingled. One ballot box is counted at a time, re-boxed, and moved prior to another being opened. One box at a time only.
There are two counting rooms in this process. It is modeled after warehouse methods for performing inventory counts by teams. All ballots from ballot boxes of 500 are counted twice, one batch at a time. The tally sheets are designed to match the 500 ballots per box. This process has not been tested as of 03/20/2021. The tally sheets have a preliminary design, but may be subject to change upon process testing. However, the basic concept of two counting rooms will not change. Ballots box batch counting may be facilitated by a paper counting machine. It does not total anything on the ballot, it simply rapidly counts ballots to ensure that 500 ballots are in a batch at each movement from one place to another. Whether ballot counting machines will be part of this process is TBD. It is possible that cost will prohibit them, or the desire to keep machines out of the process altogether, will make this determination. A team of 10 people can count 500 ballots rapidly when trained.
Step #5 requires that a tally sheet that contains the tick marks for every vote for each candidate or issue, and the summation of all 500 ballots. The tally sheet shall be the summation of 500 ballots. Some candidates and/or issuues do not receive votes. The tally sheet will reflect the differnce between the total potential votes cast of the 500 lot and the actual votes cast. If there are 10 candidates X 500 potential votes, then 5,000 vote potential minus the votes not cast shall be reflected on the tally sheet for that lot. Tally sheets are numbered according to the 'ballot box' number.
Step #6 has all of the procedures of step #4. The job of this step is to ensure that the ballot tallys are the same as from Counting Room #1. The same procedures are followed accept that after the count is made, the tally sheets are compared for differences. This is for each ballot box of 500 ballots. Differences are noted in the appropriate places on each of the two tally sheets (counting room #1 and counting room #2). The tally sheet for counting room #2 is put with the ballot box, and it is recycled back through the process. Both tally sheets of the new cycle have to once again be created and put with the original tally sheets for this ballot box. It is counted again and sent to counting room #2 to be counted. If the new counts match, then it is forwarded to the final steps of storage. If not, it is recycled until it is fully reconciled. In this room a 'MASTER TALLY' Board is maintained. This board is monitored by an IP MJPEG camera that broadcasts to a public website. This master sheet as well as the two sub-tally sheets are printed in very large formats on paper and tacked to foam boards mounted on the wall. This board is the 'final' official tally of the election. The Holding Room sum is also compared to this board from the tally sheets in the holding room. These two audits must agree. The election cannot be certified until all ballots are accounted for and the holding room tally total agrees with the Master Tallly Board in counting room #2.
Step #7 is the proper routing of the ballot box with tally sheet from counting room #1 and #2. If the tally counts are equal, then the ballot box is routed to step #8 to be stored in the 'holding room' until the election is over. As in all ballot movements, sigantures and timestamps of multi-partisan citizens shall be made for each step of the process, no matter the location. A ballot box cannot move from a location without mulit-partisan control of 3 citizens, signatures, and timestamps of those signatures. If the tally sheets do not agree 100%, the ballot box and the 500 ballots are sent back to counting room #1, to be counted and sent through the normal process to counting room #2. This is repeated until the tally count sheets are in agreement.
Step #8 means that the ballots and tally sheets match from Counting Room #1 and #2. The disposition of the tally sheet process has not yet been designed. It will be posted when this is available as of 03/20/2021 JMM. However, as of this writing, the finished product of Step #8 is to ensure that the tally sheets and ballots are all together, movement sheets signed, and prepared to travel to the Secure Ballot Box Holding Room, to be matched with ballot stubs, and stored for the duration of the election.
Step #9 is a quality control check to ensure that everything is proper prior to moving the ballot box to the secure holding room.
Step #10's purpose is to provide a secure holding room for the process results of the election process. This room is under 24/7 security through IP camera video streaming to a public website, by multi-partisan people in the room performing the room's required processes, and by an official police officer assigned to this duty. Nothing enters or leaves this room without signing in or out on a log kept for this purpose. The election process objects are ballot stubs, ballots, and tally sheets, plus any equipment needed to process the ballots, stubs, and tally sheets. Nothing can enter or leave the room once the election starts without auditor approval and be under multi-partisan control of at least three people, and is under IP camera observation. The police officer has the right to inspect all things that come and go from this room, it his duty.
Step #11 receives its input from step #7. This step occurs when Counting Room #1 and Counting Room #2 tally sheets do not match for any candidate. They have to be recycled along with all tally sheets back to Counting Room #1. This includes movement sheets to keep track of ballot box movement. Care must be taken to follow sign-in and sign-out policies. At this point, many people will try to by-pass the movement policies. This cannot be allowed to happen by the supervisors.
Step #12 ensures that all tally sheets and ballot counts are in the box, that they are signed out and in by movement sheets
Step #13 is where the canvassing board meets to address ballots that are mismarked or disfigured in any manner that causes confusion with the counters in Counting Rooms #1 or #2. This can include damaged ballots where a vote mark is not clear. The ballots in this step are sent back to be counted and reunited with their ballot batch box.
Step #14 is where the canvassing board has determined that a ballot is inelligable for any reason.
Step #15 is the end of the line for the ballots and stubs. It has the highest security. It is preferred that a county police officer be present at all times during the election process in the room. Their authority is to watch and report any suspicious activity to the supervisor of this room and the county auditor. This room must ensure that all procedures of ballot box and ballot stub box are followed, including all movement sheet signatures. All ballots end up in this room. As soon as a ballot box is signed in, the process of re-uniting them with their ballot stubs can occur. Ballots and stubs are counted and any shortages are noted. Missing ballots may be re-routed to the canvassing room for damage disposition. This is noted on the tally sheet for each box. Late processed ballots will be noted because of ballot stubs that have not been reunited. This room is under total multi-party of no less than three person and a police officer 24/7 during the eleciton duration.
Fair and Transparent Elections -- 100% Ballot Chain of Custody -- Transparent Audits
Proper Registration -- VoterID -- Clean Voter Rolls
Polling places -- No Computers -- No Mail-In Ballots -- Citizen Counted Tally
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