Sec. 20117 - Ballot Manifest and Ballot Handling

ยง 20117. Ballot Manifest and Ballot Handling

(a) The elections official shall maintain an accurate ballot manifest, created independent of the voting system. The ballot manifest shall uniquely identify the storage container in which each validly cast ballot card is stored after tabulation.

(b) The format for the ballot manifest shall be in the format required by the RLA software tool in the California Post-Election Risk-Limiting Audit Ballot Manifest Format document dated October 15, 2019, which is hereby incorporated by reference, which the Secretary of State shall post on its website.

(c) If the audit commences after all validly cast ballot(s) have been tabulated, the elections official shall create only one ballot manifest.

(d) If the audit commences before all validly cast ballot(s) have been tabulated, the elections official shall create two ballot manifests, one before each phase of the audit: an initial ballot manifest that includes all ballots that have been tabulated before the first phase of the audit starts, followed by the final ballot manifest including all tabulated ballots.

(e) The content of the initial ballot manifest shall not be changed in the final manifest; accordingly, no ballots shall be added to the containers included in the initial manifest. Instead, the tabulated ballots that are not included in the initial ballot manifest shall be stored in new containers, and the final ballot manifest shall include all the rows in the initial ballot manifest plus a row for each new container.

Example: 1,000,000 ballots were cast in the county, of which 900,000 had been tabulated when the elections official decided to start the first phase of a two-phase audit. The initial ballot manifest includes those 900,000 ballots. Ultimately, 97,000 of the remaining 100,000 ballots are determined to be validly cast. These ballots are tabulated and are stored in new containers. The final ballot manifest consists of the initial ballot manifest plus additional rows that describe the new containers in which these 97,000 ballots are stored, for a total count of 997,000 ballots in the ballot manifest for the second audit phase.

(1. New section filed 3-5-2020; operative 3-5-2020 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) (Register 2020, No. 10).)

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code; and Section 15367, Elections Code.

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