Wednesday, November 30, 2022

USA: What happens to damaged or incorrectly filled ballots?

Election officials reconstruct or “duplicate” damaged or incorrectly marked ballots to preserve voter intent. This is necessary, for example, if a ballot has a coffee stain or tear, or if a voter rounds instead of filling in an oval to select a candidate – and therefore cannot be scanned by a machine. ,

Experts say the process may sound strange to those unfamiliar with electoral administration, but it is a valid and long-term way of ensuring that voters’ votes are counted. It is also widely used to translate votes cast by people abroad or in the military into ballot papers that can be scanned.

The process of copying ballots involves changing the voter’s choice from a damaged ballot to a new, clean ballot that can be scanned and counted. Exactly how to handle that process varies from state to state.

In many cases, this election is carried out by bipartisan teams of activists, said Barry Burden, professor of political science and director of the Center for Election Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is not the case everywhere, although it is common for at least two people to do so – even for two staff members, said Jennifer Morrell, a partner at The Elections Group who works to improve processes. Works with election officials.

Read Also:  Battery Push Lawn Mower Market Trend 2021, Share, Industry Analysis by Future Demand, Top Players, Size, Share, Opportunities, Revenue and Growth Rate Through 2028

Several major states in this year’s midterm elections — including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin — require that the process of counterfeiting ballots be conducted by individuals representing different political parties.

There are some cases where errors in the ballot paper cannot be corrected because it is impossible to verify the intention of the voter. For example, sometimes a voter chooses too many choices in a particular contest, or leaves a mark that does not clearly indicate which candidate they have chosen.

The rules for those types of ballots depend on the jurisdiction. Burden said in an email that in some places, a ballot with an error in a contest will exclude that contest, but in other places, none of the voter’s choices will count. He said whether the original ballot paper should be destroyed or retained, it depends on the state.

Experts say that the process of copying ballot papers is usually done under the full eye of the public or election observers. Many states also require the original and duplicate ballots to be labeled and assigned numbers to create a paper trail between the two.

Distortions have fueled false claims about the process of copying ballots.

Read Also:  How the AS/RS Systems Market in the US Holds the Maximum Absolute US$ Opportunity by 2032 |

In 2020, footage from publicly available video feeds showed polling personnel in Delaware County, Pennsylvania transferring votes from damaged ballots to clean ballots to be scanned. But social media posts shared cropped images that did not appear to be present to bipartisan observers, and unfoundedly claimed that the video was evidence of voter fraud.

“Ballet duplication is a standard part of the election administration process and has been for many years,” Burden said. “This is necessary for many people who vote by mail and whose ballots are not machine-readable, including many military and foreign voters who cast their ballots by various means to be copied onto standard paper ballots. should.”

Tammy Patrick, election program adviser for the non-partisan Democracy Fund, said that if a voter makes a mistake or their ballot is damaged before it is turned in, they can also follow directions given by local officials to request a new one. Huh. The original ballot will be canceled and only one will be counted.


To learn more about ongoing issues and factors in the 2022 US midterm elections, visit And follow Associated Press’s coverage of the midterm elections at

Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.

Latest News

Related Stories