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Voter Intent

Citizens Oversight (2021-09-16) Ray Lutz

This Page: https://copswiki.org/Common/VoterIntent
More Info: Audit Engine, Election Audits, Election Integrity

Voter Intent Standards

  • CA -- https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/uniform-vote-counting-standards/
  • MN -- https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/204C.22

California Guidelines

Definitions

  • Blank Ballot

    A blank ballot is one on which the voter has made no marks in any voting position target, or one which has been marked with an unreadable marker, or one which has been consistently marked outside of the "read" area of the scanner.

  • Candidate

    A candidate is a person who is seeking nomination or election to a specified office and who either has met the legal requirements to have his/her name printed on the ballot or is eligible to have his/her name written in on the ballot and counted as the voter's choice for the contest.

  • Damaged Ballot

    A damaged ballot is one that has been torn, bent, or otherwise mutilated or rendered unreadable such that it cannot be processed by the ballot tabulating equipment designed for use with the ballot.

  • Duplicated Ballot

    A duplicated ballot is a ballot which is a true copy of the originally cast ballot. It is created when damage, improper marking or some other action/defect prevents the original ballot from being read by a ballot tabulating machine, and is used to properly process and count the votes originally cast by the voter. (Elections Code section 15210 provides the method by which a duplicate ballot must be created.)

  • Listed Candidate

    A listed candidate is a candidate whose name appears on the ballot at the time the voter received the ballot, as opposed to a write-in candidate.

  • Measure

    A measure is a ballot proposition, which appears on a ballot and requires voter action in order to enact or reject a proposed law.

  • Overvote

    An overvote occurs when a voter marks more than the maximum number of voting position targets allowed in the contest.

  • Punch Card Ballot

    A punch card ballot is a ballot card that contains voting position targets that a marking device must pierce to form a hole in order to record a voter's choice for a candidate or measure.

  • Undervote

    An undervote occurs when a voter marks less than the maximum number of voting position targets allowed in a contest.

  • Voting Position Target

    A voting position target refers to that area of the ballot adjacent to each candidate or measure, or that area of the ballot, specifically designated to record the voter's choice for that contest. The term applies to all types of voting position targets on ballots, regardless of what form they may take, including, but not limited to, rectangle, oval, circle, square, hole punch, cross punch, slotting and open arrow.

Standards Indicating a Valid Vote

A voter's choice shall be considered a valid vote, if the:

  • Voter indicates vote choice by consistently filling inside the entire voting position target.
  • Voter indicates vote choice by consistently filling in less than the entire voting position target for all vote choices on the ballot and the ballot is processed in a manner consistent with the use procedures provided and approved for the voting system.
  • Voter indicates vote choice by consistently placing a distinctive mark, such as (X) or (✔) or (←), inside the associated voting position target for a candidate choice or ballot measure.
  • Voter indicates vote choice by consistently placing a distinctive mark, such as (X) or (✔) or (←), in the corresponding space directly above, below or beside the associated voting position target for a candidate or ballot measure.
  • Voter marks vote choices by encircling the entire voting position target for a candidate or ballot measure.
  • Voter indicates voting error correction by using correction tape, strikeover, white-out or generic written note of instruction and marks another vote choice for the same contest on the ballot.
  • Voter writes in a qualified write-in candidate's name, or a reasonable facsimile of the spelling of the name, in the designated write-in spaces directly below the list of candidates for that office and marks the associated write-in voting target position.
  • Voter writes in a listed candidate's name in the designated write-in space and marks the associated write-in voting target position. In such cases, the vote shall be counted as a single vote for the listed candidate.
  • Voter marks a voting target position for a listed candidate and also enters the listed candidate's name in the designated candidate write-in space. In such cases, the vote shall be counted as a single vote for the listed candidate.
  • Voter writes in qualified write-in candidate's name, or a reasonable facsimile of the spelling of the name, on the secrecy sleeve envelope or stub and indicates the contest for which the vote is being cast, in the case of voting systems where write-in spaces appear separately from the list of candidates for an office and do not provide voting position targets.

Standards Indicating an Invalid Vote

A voter's choice shall be considered an invalid vote, if the:

  • Voter uses random markings, indentations, punctures or impressions, squiggly/dimpled or crimp marks, pinholes or pinpricks on a ballot, and there is no distinctive and consistent voting pattern to clearly indicate voter choice(s).
  • Voter indicates vote choice by filling in less than the entire voting position target, and the voter has not consistently marked the entire ballot in the same manner, making voter's choice unclear.
  • Voter inconsistently places a mark above, below or beside the associated voting position target on a ballot, instead of inside the voting position target, and voter's choice cannot be clearly determined.
  • Voter writes in the name of a person who has not qualified as a write-in candidate.
  • Voter writes in a listed candidate's name in the designated write-in space and fills in the associated voting position target for a different listed candidate in the same contest. (Elections Code section 15154(c) and (d).)
  • Voter writes in a candidate name that is unrecognizable/undecipherable and it cannot be determined for whom the vote is intended to be cast.
  • Voter writes in a qualified write-in candidate's name in the designated write-in space and does not fill in the associated voting position target for the write-in candidate. However, in the event of a manual recount, pursuant to Elections Code section 15342.5 if the intent of the voter can be determined, the vote shall be counted regardless of whether the voter has filled in the associated voting position target for the write-in candidate.
  • Voter uses pressure-sensitive stickers, rubber stamps, glued stamps, or any other device not provided for in the voting procedures for the voting systems approved by the Secretary of State to indicate the name of the voter's choice for a write-in candidate.

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Title Voter Intent
Publisher Citizens Oversight
Author Ray Lutz
Pub Date 2021-09-16
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Keywords Audit Engine, Election Audits, Election Integrity
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Topic revision: r1 - 2021-09-16, RaymondLutz
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