307-X-1-.17 - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

307-X-1-.17

307-X-1-.17 Counting of Votes.

(1) An elector's ballot shall be counted for each office to be filed except for each office where it is impossible to determine the elector's choice for that office. The inability to determine the voter's choice for any particular office to be filled shall not cause the rejection of votes for other offices where the elector's choice may be determined. No ballot shall be rejected for any technical error that does not make it impossible to determine the elector's choice.

(2) (a) In precincts utilizing precinct ballot counters, the counters shall be programmed to return the ballot to the elector if the elector has marked more names than there are persons to be elected to a particular office. The elector shall be provided the opportunity to review his or her ballot and to correct the ballot.

(b) If the elector chooses to correct the ballot, the original ballot shall be spoiled by a poll worker and the elector shall be issued a new, blank ballot.

(c) If the elector chooses not to correct the ballot, the elector shall deposit the ballot into a ballot box or other suitable container. After the close of the polls, polling officials shall count said ballot by hand as described in Sections 17-13-1 and 17-13-2. The determination of the elector's choice shall be governed by paragraph (4) of this rule. Poll watchers of opposing interests and members of the media, if any are present, shall be permitted to witness this process.

(3) (a) In counties utilizing central ballot counters, the counters shall be programmed to return a ballot to poll officials if the elector has marked more names than there are persons to be elected to a particular office. Each returned ballot shall be counted by hand pursuant to this section.

(b) Each ballot shall be reviewed by polling officials to determine the elector's choice for each office to be filled. This determination shall be made pursuant to the standards set forth in paragraph (4) of this rule.

(c) Upon determining the elector's choice for each office, the polling officials shall manually add the. elector's votes to the total votes for each candidate for the offices to be filled.

(4) In determining the elector's choice, polling officials shall consider the ballot as a whole and determine the manner in which the elector marked his or her choices on the ballot Only those choices marked consistently in this manner shall be counted for each office to be filled. As used herein, "marked consistently" pertains to the manner in which the voter expresses his or her choice and not the pattern of candidates selected as between political parties on the ballot. If the polling officials are unable to determine the manner in which an elector marked his or her choices, the ballot shall be rejected in its entirety.

(5) (a) If a precinct ballot counter should malfunction, the poll shall remain open and voters shall deposit their ballots in a ballot box or other suitable container. The inspector shall notify the custodian, who shall attempt to repair or replace the equipment,  and the probate judge, who shall maintain a public list of all precincts in which equipment failure has occurred.

(b) If the precinct ballot counter cannot be repaired, after the polls close the ballot box shall be opened and the ballots counted either by hand as described in Sections 17-13-1 and 17-13-2 or by feeding the ballots into an operable precinct ballot counter. If counted by hand, the determination of the elector's choice shall be governed by paragraph (4) of this rule. Poll watchers of opposing interests and members of the media, if any are present, shall be permitted to witness this process.

(c) In counties utilizing precinct ballot counters, any ballot returned by the machine in a post-election recount must be counted by hand following the rules for central ballot counters as provided in paragraph (3) of this rule. The results of this hand count shall be added to the certificate of results, and the ballots shall be bound separately and returned with the other ballots.

 (6) If a central ballot counter should malfunction, the count shall be suspended until the equipment is repaired or replaced or the ballots are counted by hand as described in Sections 17-13-1 and 17-13-2. If counted by hand, the determination of the elector's choice shall be governed by paragraph (4) of this rule. Poll watchers of opposing interests and members of the media, if any are present, shall be permitted to witness this process.

(7) (a) In counties utilizing precinct ballot counters, if a ballot is defective and the counter is unable to accept or read the ballot, the ballot shall be spoiled and the elector shall be issued a new ballot.

(b) In counties utilizing central ballot counters, if a ballot is defective and the counter is unable to accept or read the ballot, the ballot shall be counted by hand as described in Sections 17-13-1 and 17-13-2. If counted by hand, the determination of the elector's choice shall be governed by paragraph (4) of this rule. Poll watchers of opposing interests and members of the media, if any are present, shall be permitted to witness this process.

 Author: Charles E. Orainger, Jr.
Statutory Authority'§17-24-7(b), Code of Alabama (1975).
History: Adopted February 10,1998; amended February 7,2002.

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