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Board of Supervisors of Elections - Provisional Ballot Canvass Procedures
Staff Research

For each Provisional Ballot, the City Clerk's Office will work with the Montgomery County Board of Elections' investigators to identify the voter in the State of Maryland Voter Registration Database to:

a. Determine whether the voter meets the legal requirements for their vote to be counted as valid; and
b. Make one of two recommendations to the Board of Supervisors of Elections: accept or reject. If an investigator recommends rejection of an envelope, the investigator must circle the applicable Rejection Code from the list on the back of the Provisional Ballot envelope.

Provisional 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 Provisional Ballot envelopes recommended for acceptance by the investigators to each Canvass team.
  4. The Canvass team will review each envelope to make sure that the oath is signed.
  5. If the envelope is not signed or is improperly signed, the envelope and its contents are placed in the Referral Folder.
  6. If the envelope is signed, 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.

Provisional Ballot Board Procedures

  1. A quorum of the Board will review the envelopes recommended for rejection by the investigators 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 provisional 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.