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Thousands of ballots get personal inspections after voter markings rejected

Adjudication
John Palminteri
A process called adjudication will determine what a voter's intent was if they have more markings in a category than allowed. (Photo: John Palminteri)

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - 1,200 ballots in Santa Barbara County are getting a personal inspection after voters made markings that were not understood by the tabulation computers.

This generally happens when a voter changes their mind and has more than one marking in a list of candidates for a race or on another issue.

The process is called adjudication.

Teams of two are in the election office going through those ballots.

They have to determine the voter's intent.

Santa Barbara County Elections officials say instructions are given to the voters in their ballot materials about what to do if they change their mind. In the most common case, they can simply write "No" next to the error and "Yes" next to the correct vote.

Some voters do more with their markings.

Other ballots may have a small pen mark in one of the voting ovals and then a full darkened-in oval as well. That is enough to confuse the computer and call for a personal inspection.

The current adjudication process is moving smoothly with hundreds of ballots already inspected, corrected and processed.

The California Secretary of State's office says elections officials must complete the official canvas no later than the 30th day after the election and submit a certified statement of the results of the election to the Secretary of State by the 31st day.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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