Chapter 5.30
BALLOT COUNTING PROCEDURES

Sections:

5.30.010    Commencement of ballot count.

5.30.020    General procedure for ballot count.

5.30.030    Rules for hand counting ballots.

5.30.040    Write-in votes.

5.30.050    Disqualified candidate.

5.30.060    Tally of votes.

5.30.070    Completion of ballot count.

5.30.080    Other ballot counting systems authorized.

5.30.010 Commencement of ballot count.

(a)    The opening of the ballot box and the counting of ballots shall be accomplished in full view of any persons present. The public may not be excluded from the area in which ballots are counted. However, the election officials shall not permit anyone present to interfere in any way or to distract the appointed officials from their duties and no one other than appointed election officials may handle the ballots.

(b)    For counting of paper ballots, when the polls are closed and the last vote has been cast, the election board shall immediately proceed to open the ballot box, separate the questioned ballot envelopes from other ballots and then proceed to count the votes cast. In all cases the election board shall cause the count to be continued without adjournment until the count is complete. The borough clerk may authorize the appointment of additional election officials to assist in the counting of ballots. If an appointed election official fails to appear and subscribe to the oath at the time designated by the borough clerk, the election board may appoint any qualified voter to fill the vacancy.

(c)    In optical scan or other computer-read or electronic ballot precincts, when the polls have closed and the last vote has been cast, the election board shall immediately open the ballot box, separate questioned and write-in ballots from other ballots cast, place all ballots in the containers provided, and proceed with the ballot accountability and poll closing procedures provided by the borough clerk. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.60.010.]

5.30.020 General procedure for ballot count.

(a)    The borough clerk may issue rules prescribing the manner in which the precinct ballot count is accomplished so as to assure accuracy in the count and to expedite the process. The election board shall account for all ballots by completing a ballot statement containing (1) the number of official ballots received; (2) the number of official ballots voted; (3) the number of official ballots spoiled; (4) the number of official ballots unused and destroyed. The board shall count the number of questioned ballots and shall compare that number to the number of questioned voters in the register. Discrepancies shall be noted and the numbers included in the certificate prescribed by the borough clerk.

(b)    Ballots may not be counted before the polls are officially closed on the day of the election. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.60.020.]

5.30.030 Rules for hand counting ballots.

(a)    The election board shall perform a hand count for ballots in precincts where the optical scan or other computer-read or electronic ballot counting equipment is not used, or in elections where write-in votes shall be tallied in accordance with KGBC 5.30.020 and 5.30.040.

(b)    The election board shall hand count ballots according to the following rules:

(1)    A voter may mark his ballot with a cross mark, “X” mark, diagonal, horizontal or vertical mark, solid mark, star, circle, asterisk, check or plus sign using the marking device provided at the polling place or with any black- or blue-inked marker. The marks will be counted only if they are clearly spaced in the square or oval opposite the name of the candidate the voter desires to designate.

(2)    A failure to properly mark a ballot as to one (1) or more candidates does not itself invalidate the entire ballot.

(3)    If a voter marks fewer names than there are persons to be elected to the office, a vote shall be counted for each candidate properly marked.

(4)    If a voter marks more names than there are persons to be elected to the office, the votes for candidates for that office shall not be counted.

(5)    The mark specified in subsection (b)(1) of this section shall be counted only if it is substantially inside the square or oval provided, or touching the square or oval so as to indicate clearly that the voter intended the particular square marked.

(6)    Improper marks on the ballot shall not be counted and shall not invalidate marks for candidates properly marked.

(7)    An erasure or correction invalidates only that section of the ballot in which it appears.

(c)    The rules set out in this section are mandatory and there shall be no exceptions to them. A ballot may not be counted unless marked in compliance with these rules. [Ord. No. 1604, §1, 9-19-11; Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.60.030.]

5.30.040 Write-in votes.

(a)    Write-in votes shall not be tallied except:

(1)    If the person running as a write-in candidate has, at least before 5:00 p.m. of the day before the election, filed a declaration of write-in candidacy on a form provided by the clerk stating that they are willing to assume the office if elected and have also filed a completed public officials financial disclosure statement with the borough clerk; or

(2)    If the total number of write-in votes for an office exceeds the smallest number of votes cast for a candidate for that office whose name is printed on the ballot.

(b)    In order to vote for a write-in candidate, the voter must, in the space provided, write in the candidate’s name as the candidate’s name appears on the candidate’s declaration of write-in candidacy filed with the borough clerk. In addition, the voter must mark the square or oval opposite the candidate’s name in accordance with KGBC 5.30.030(b). Stickers shall not be used.

(c)    Write-in votes are not invalidated by writing in the name of a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot unless the election board determines, on the basis of other evidence, that the ballot was so marked for the purpose of identifying the ballot.

(d)    If votes for write-in candidates are counted at the precinct level, election workers shall set aside any ballots which contain any abbreviation, misspelling, or other minor variation in the form of the name of a write-in candidate and forward those ballots to the canvass board for review and determination. The canvass board shall review such ballots and shall disregard any misspelling, or other minor variation in the form of the name of a write-in candidate, if the intention of the voter can be ascertained.

(e)    In order to be elected, a write-in candidate must receive the number of votes required by this chapter. [Ord. No. 1604, §2, 9-19-11; Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.60.040.]

5.30.050 Disqualified candidate.

Votes cast for a candidate who is disqualified shall not be counted. The only exception is to determine the number of total votes cast for a seat. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.60.050.]

5.30.060 Tally of votes.

(a)    Tally of Votes Cast by Paper Ballots. The borough clerk shall issue instructions and shall provide forms and supplies for the tally of votes cast by paper ballot so as to assure accuracy and to expedite the process. The election board shall canvass and count the votes according to the rules for determining marks on ballots prescribed in KGBC 5.30.030. The election board shall canvass the ballots in a manner that allows watchers to see the ballots when opened and read. No person handling the ballot after it has been taken from the ballot box and before it is placed in the container for delivery to the borough clerk may remove a ballot from the immediate vicinity of the polls or have a marking device in hand.

(b)    Voting Tabulation Systems. Upon closing of the polls the election board shall print results tapes, sign the tapes, and return tapes and memory card to the borough clerk as set out in the election procedures. The results tapes serve as precinct certificates of election. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.60.060.]

5.30.070 Completion of ballot count.

When the tally of hand counted ballots is completed the election board shall make a certificate in duplicate of the results. The certificate includes the number of votes cast for each candidate, for and against each proposition, yes or no on each question, and any additional information prescribed by the borough clerk. The certificate and all ballots properly cast shall be delivered to the borough clerk. To assure adequate protection the borough clerk shall prescribe the manner in which the ballots, registers and all other election records and materials are thereafter preserved, transferred and destroyed. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.60.070.]

5.30.080 Other ballot counting systems authorized.

Nothing in this title prohibits the use of other ballot counting systems which have been approved for use in state elections. The borough clerk, subject to any further approval as may be required by law, may prescribe rules for the use of these systems or may adopt such rules, regulations and procedures as have been adopted by the state for use in state elections. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.60.080.]