Sec. 20123 - Ballot Retrieval and Manual Examination

ยง 20123. Ballot Retrieval and Manual Examination

(a) The audit board shall locate and retrieve, or observe the location of and retrieval by elections official or election staff of, each randomly selected ballot card from the appropriate storage container. The audit board shall verify that the seals on the appropriate storage containers are those recorded on the applicable chain of custody log.

(b) The audit board shall examine each randomly selected ballot card. If the selected ballot card was duplicated prior to tabulation, the audit board shall retrieve the original ballot card and report how the original (rather than the duplicate) was marked.

(c) The audit board shall interpret voter markings on ballot cards selected for audit in accordance with Elections Code section 15154. If the audit board members cannot unanimously agree on the voter's intent, they shall indicate their disagreement in the final report in section 20125. They shall then notify the elections official of the disagreement, who shall arbitrate the issue. The elections official may:

(1) Instruct the audit board members to replace the ballot card with another ballot card, selected at random, that contains the same contests as the previously selected ballot card;

(2) Instruct the audit board members to submit to the RLA software tool that no consensus can be reached on the voter choices; or

(3) Make a final determination of the voter markings and instruct the audit board to submit the voter markings or choices in all audited contests to the RLA software tool.

(d) The audit board shall record the voters' choices in every contest on every ballot card selected for audit. Those choices shall be entered into the RLA tool.

(e) The audit shall continue until the risk limit is met for every contest being audited pursuant to section 20114. If the RLA software tool specifies that further auditing is required to meet the risk limit, it will randomly select additional ballot card(s) from the ballot manifest to be examined manually. The elections official shall retrieve those additional ballot card(s) as described in (a), examine those additional ballot card(s) as described in (b) and (c), and record the voters' choices as described in (d).

(f) If the elections official chooses to perform a full manual tally of one or more contests, the audits of those contests will be deemed to have met the risk limit and the results of the full manual tally shall be the official results for those contest(s).

(g) The RLA shall be completed no later than the canvass deadline, as specified by Section 15372 of the Elections Code.

(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. Reference: Sections 15154 and 15360, Elections Code.

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