How Votes Are Counted

How Votes Are Counted

Tabulator Count. The tabulator counts all of the races on all of the ballots which are fed through the scanner. At the end of the day, any ballots voted using the side-pocket are fed through the scanner as well. If the tabulator cannot read them, they are counted by hand.

Write-In Votes. The tabulator counts the total number of votes cast for write-in candidates in each race, but cannot determine which write-in candidates received the votes. The tabulator separates ballots containing a write-in vote from the other ballots and the write-in tally is performed by hand at the polling place. Only the votes for registered write-in candidates are counted, along with any write-in votes cast for a candidate whose name is already on the ballot for that office. Votes cast for cartoon and fictional characters, pets and mythical creatures, and persons who are not official write-in candidates, are not counted.

Absentee Ballots. Absentee ballots are counted at a single location at city hall by an absentee ballot moderator and a bi-partisan team of election officials. A tabulator is used for all absentee ballots which it can read, and the other ballots are hand counted. A separate tally is made for each precinct. A Procedure Manual for counting Absentee Ballots is issued by the Secretary of the State.

Provisional Ballots. Provisional ballots are ones cast by persons who believe they are properly registered to vote but whose names do not appear on the voter lists. Each is placed in an inner envelope to preserve ballot secrecy and in an outer envelope with the name, address and other information about the voter. The registrars examine each case separately to determine if the voter is, in fact, currently registered to vote in Norwalk. If so, the ballot will be counted and if not, the ballot will not be counted. Provisional Ballots are only available in state/federal elections, and only for the federal offices offices. Usually Election Day Registration (see below) is a better option, as the person may vote in all races on the ballot and the votes are certain to be counted.

Election Day Registration Ballots. During a general election, persons who are not currently registered as voters in Norwalk, but are otherwise qualified, may register and vote on Election Day. Election Day Registration is conducted at a single location at city hall, NOT at the polling places.These ballots are counted centrally, like Absentee Ballots.