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Canvass Observer (Opening Absentee Ballots) Information
Nov. 3, 2015
If you are interested in observing the canvass (opening of Absentee Ballots), please arrive 10 minutes before 6:00 p.m. in the City Clerk's Office and place your name on the sign-in sheet.

Guidelines for observing the canvass will be available at that time.

City of Rockville Board of Supervisors of Elections Absentee Ballot Canvass Procedures

Public Observation of the Canvass

  1. The public and media shall maintain an acceptable distance while the Board of Supervisors of Elections is inspecting the ballots.
  2. All questions should be directed to the City Clerk or designee. The public and media should not speak or communicate with members of the Board of Supervisors of Elections.
  3. No food or drink is allowed in the Canvass room.
  4. No cellular phones are allowed.
  5. No excessive noise is allowed.
  6. The Board of Supervisors of Elections has the authority to maintain order.
  7. The Board of Supervisors of Elections is responsible for safeguarding all records and documents.
  8. The Board of Supervisors of Elections will decide when breaks are given.
  9. The Canvass will be conducted in a room that can be secured and locked.
  10. Observers may be near the Canvass teams to observe their review of the envelopes but are prohibited from:
    a. Trying to ascertain how a voter voted; or
    b. Touching an original election document.

Absentee Ballot Canvass Team Procedures
  1. A majority of the members of the Board of Supervisors of Elections must be present during any Canvass activity.
  2. The Board of Supervisors of Elections will divide into Canvass teams consisting of at least two members of the Board.
  3. The City Clerk will distribute Absentee Ballot envelopes to each Canvass team.
  4. The Canvass team will review each envelope to make sure the following requirements are satisfied:
    a. The envelope was received timely-envelopes must be received by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
    b. The oath is signed;
    c. If required, that a certificate of assistance is properly completed; and
    d. That there is only one ballot in the envelope.
  5. If the envelope and its contents do not satisfy each of these requirements, the envelope and its contents are placed in the Referral Folder.
  6. If the envelope and its contents satisfy each of these requirements, the team will separate the envelope and the ballot. Empty envelopes will be returned to the City Clerk.
  7. The Canvass team will review the ballots for any identifying marks. If there are no identifying marks, the ballot will be placed in the Accept Folder. If there are any identifying marks, the ballot will be placed in the Referral Folder.

Absentee Ballot Board Procedures
  1. A quorum of the Board will review the envelopes and the ballots in the Referral Folder and will vote on each one individually.
  2. If the ballot is accepted, it will go in the Accept Folder.
  3. If the ballot is rejected, it will go in the Reject Folder.
  4. Rejected ballot/s require a unanimous vote. If the vote is not unanimous, the absentee ballot must be counted.

Challenges during the Absentee Ballot Canvass
  1. If a member of the public has information that s/he believes should be considered by the Board of Supervisors of Elections, the individual should, notify the City Clerk or designee.
  2. If a member of the public wishes to challenge a decision of the Board of Supervisors of Elections, the individual should notify the City Clerk or designee and put the challenge in writing.
  3. The ballot, envelope, and written challenge will be put aside for consideration by the Board of Supervisors of Elections.
  4. The Board of Supervisors of Elections will consider the information provided and decide whether to accept or reject the ballot/s in question.
  5. If the ballot is accepted, it will go in the Accept Folder.
  6. If the ballot is rejected, it will go in the Reject Folder.
  7. Rejected ballot/s require a unanimous vote. If the vote is not unanimous, the absentee ballot must be counted.

11/03/2015