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Municipal Election Procedures Overview State of Delaware Department of Elections for Sussex County 119 N. Race St. Georgetown DE 19947 (302) 856-5367

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Presentation on theme: "Municipal Election Procedures Overview State of Delaware Department of Elections for Sussex County 119 N. Race St. Georgetown DE 19947 (302) 856-5367"— Presentation transcript:

1 Municipal Election Procedures Overview State of Delaware Department of Elections for Sussex County 119 N. Race St. Georgetown DE 19947 (302) 856-5367 1

2 Election Procedures (3) ► Polling Place Setup  EOs arrive one (1) hour prior to opening of polls  EOs post the following signage in Voting Room: ► Poster indicating that the room is a polling place (near entrance) ► Voter information poster ► Sample ballot ► Instructions on using EVM  Also to be posted: ► Sign that building is polling place ► Indication of main and accessible entrance 2

3 Number of Election Officers ► Sufficient quantity of EOs to be appointed for conduct of election—not BoE members ► EOs are charged with “fair and equal conduct” of election  Inspector is chief EO in polling place ► Inspector determines all challenges and other issues in polling place ► Inspector may seek advice of BoE in resolving issues ► Inspector subscribes oath to all EOs in polling place ► All EOs observe opening of polls procedure 3

4 Election Procedures  Polling places are to be sited in convenient, accessible locations  Voter Identity: ► Voter shall present proof of identity and address  1 or more item from list that, individually or together, show identity and address of voter: ► State of DE Driver’s License or ID ► Uniformed Service ID (military ID) ► Other Photo ID (issued by US Govt; State of DE, employer, higher ed institution, high school) ► Current utility bill/bank statement/credit card statement/paycheck or pay advice/other bill or statement ► Lease/sales agreement for residence ► Other documentation one can “reasonably and commonly” accept as proof of identity and address  Majority of Election Officers may attest to voter identity and address 4

5 Voting Procedure  Election Officer Procedures: ► Voter shows proof of identity and address ► EO circles voter’s name on DoE-supplied Poll List or Municipality-supplied Poll List ► EO has voter sign Voter Log ► EO Authorizes to Voter and Directs to EVM  Ineligible Voters ► Referred to Inspector ► Inspector decides and annotates Poll List and/or Voter Log ► If eligibility to vote is challenged, Inspector shall hear evidence and decide matter ► No appeal of Inspector’s decision 5

6 Election Procedures (2)  Those permitted in Polling Place: ► BoE members ► EOs ► Voters and those waiting to vote ► Child(ren) age 17 or younger accompanying the voter ► DoE administrators/employees w/badge or other auth. ► SEC administrators/employees w/badge or other auth. ► Person accompanying BoE/DoE/SEC member/staff (except elected official of municipality/candidate on ballot/anyone associated with campaign of candidate on ballot) [Challengers excepted] ► Any other individual deemed necessary by Inspector (same exceptions as above) ► Person or persons required by voter to assist in voting (except employer, agent of employer or union, and same exceptions as above) 6

7 Challengers (For Candidates) ► Each candidate may appoint one (1) or more challengers to observe election conduct and all election records  Candidate may designate more than one challenger for a polling place during the course of election day  NOTE: Only one (1) challenger per candidate may be present at any time in a polling location  Challengers may be changed during course of day  Each Challenger must present authorization to Inspector when arriving at polling place and get it back when leaving the polling place  Challenger must wear Challenger badge while in polling place and give it back to the Inspector when leaving.  Challenger may be ejected by Inspector for cause (e.g., disruption of polling place) 7

8 Voter Challenges ► Any person legally in polling place may challenge any voter for identity, address, or bribery  Inspector shall hear evidence and render decision, which is final. ► Inspector may consult BoE for guidance  Voter accused of bribery may affirm oath to contrary, which shall be accepted as conclusive evidence (refutation) of claim 8

9 Electioneering ► Same provisions apply, as cited above for BoE members ► Election Officers shall enforce the provisions of the electioneering prohibitions ► BoE may be called upon to provide support/assistance in enforcing the prohibition on electioneering 9

10 Municipal Boards of Elections (2)  Board members prohibited from electioneering ► Electioneering includes political discussion of issues, candidates or partisan topics, the wearing of any button, banner or other object referring to issues, candidates or partisan topics, the display, distribution or other handling of literature or any writing or drawing referring to issues, candidates or partisan topics from loudspeakers or otherwise into the polling place or the area within 50 feet of the entrance to the building in which the voting room is located. ► Includes:  Not participating in political rallies/fundraisers  Displaying candidate signs/stickers  Making any public comments on races/candidates 10

11 Electioneering (2) ► Violations of Electioneering Policy:  An election officer violating this policy is “deemed to have knowingly and willfully violated that election officer's own official duty”  Violators fined no more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both 11

12 Closing the Polls ► Inspector announces closing of polls 30 minutes prior to closing (inside and outside polling place) ► Inspector/EO announces close of polls  Anyone in line when polls close is permitted to vote  Challengers or candidates may be admitted to view closing of polls and announcement of results. ► EO removes cartridges and tapes from EVM  Municipality instructs DoE-SC staff RE: reporting results ► EOs deliver all elections documents, envelopes and absentee ballots to BoE ► Municipality’s BoE secures all items until needed for canvass of election  Withdrawn Candidates ► BoE should place notice in polling place if a candidate has withdrawn ► Votes of withdrawn candidates are not tallied, canvassed, or reported 12

13 Election Follow-Up  BoE shall announce unofficial results as soon as possible after closing of polls  BoE shall convene within 48 hours of closing of polls to certify the election results  Person certified as elected shall not take office before seventh (7th) day following election  In the case of a tie, SEC shall order new election for that office (unless Municipal laws provide otherwise)  Election Certification: ► Follow suggested procedures (next slide) ► Report certification results to municipality’s chief executive ► Make results available to the public  EVMs kept sealed by DoE for 30 days following election 13

14 Certification Procedures  BoE holds a Certification meeting to: ► Provide an opportunity for any member of the public to lodge complaints about the conduct of the election ► Canvass the results and, if all is in order, certify the results (sample templates available from DOE) ► Notice of meeting must comply with DE Code Title 29, Chapter 100 (Freedom of Information Act) Provisions  Suggested BoE Canvassing Procedures: ► Review EVM tapes from machine closing ► Add tally of absentee ballots to machine vote totals from machine closing ► Ensure totals agree with vote totals reported as unofficial results ► Investigate/Resolve any inconsistencies 14

15 Municipal Election Law Absentee Voting Procedures State of Delaware Office of the State Election Commissioner 15 905 South Governor’s Avenue, Suite 170 Dover, Delaware 19904 (302) 739-4277

16 Why Absentee Voting? ► Extends the opportunity to vote to citizens unable to be present at polling place on Election Day  Elderly voters  Voters with mobility impairments  Voters with commitments (work/personal) outside of local area on day of election ► Minimizes lines at polling place(s) on Election Day 16

17 HB 120- Absentee Voting Law Enacted June 26, 2007 ► Who may vote by absentee ballot?  Any person qualified by provision of municipal charter for reasons authorized by charter and who meets the following qualifications: ► in public service to U.S. or Delaware ► a U.S. citizen temporarily residing outside of U.S.  or who is a spouse or dependent of citizen (when residing with/accompanying individual in service) ► Absent from U.S. or Delaware due to injury received while serving in Armed Forces 17

18 HB 120 (2)  Who may vote by absentee ballot? (continued) ○ Person in U.S. Armed Forces/Merchant Marines or associated groups (e.g., Red Cross, USO) ○ Nature of work Includes providing care to parent/spouse/child (living at home) Includes providing care to parent/spouse/child (living at home) ○ Sick or physically disabled ○ Absent from municipality on vacation ○ Due to tenets or teachings of religion 18

19 Absentee Voting Materials ► Affidavit  Document completed by prospective voter to request ballot  Use template provided by State Election Commissioner(copies provided)  May be requested or provided in printed form or electronically  May be mailed or completed in person  Must be received by municipality by 12 Noon on day prior to election 19

20 Example Affidavit 20

21 Other Affidavit Questions ► Applicability of Affidavit  Assumed to be for next scheduled election (unless otherwise noted) ► Updating Voter Record via Affidavit  May be used to update voter’s registration file: ► Address ► Name 21

22 Other Affidavit Questions (2) ► Notarizing Affidavits  Only required if the voter is absent due to: ► Nature of business/occupation (including dependent care) ► Vacation ► Tenets/teachings of religion ► Reasons specified in charter  Not required if presented in person ► Voter ID required 22

23 Basic Absentee Procedures ► Following Affidavit Completion/Return:  Municipality confirms voter eligibility  Municipality mails voter: ► Absentee ballot [created by municipality] ► Instructions for Completing and Returning an Absentee Ballot [provided by State Election Commissioner] ► Ballot Envelope [Security Envelope]  Municipality may offer “in-office” absentee voting 23

24 Voter Procedures ► Voter marks ballot and inserts in Ballot Envelope ► Voter confirms that info on Ballot Envelope is correct ► Voter reads and signs self-administered oath ► Voter seals ballot envelope ► Voter mails, delivers, or causes Ballot Envelope to be delivered* to municipality  Ballot must be received by time polls close  Ballots received after time polls close shall NOT be counted * “causes…to be delivered” (e.g., via Express Mail, FedEx, etc.) 24

25 Absentee Voting Timelines  Balloting materials may not be sent more than 60 days nor less than four (4 )days prior to election  Balloting materials must be mailed within three (3) days after they become available  If a request for an absentee ballot is made less than 4 days prior to election, an absentee ballot MAY still be issued  If a candidate withdraws more than 14 days prior to election, (updated) absentee ballots should be made available to voters (i.e., mailed or available in-office) 25

26 After Ballot Envelope is Received ► Municipality determines:  Name of voter  Voting district if used/related info (if needed) ► Securing materials  Municipality places Ballot Envelopes in secure location until prepared and counted 26

27 Counting Absentee Ballots  May occur anytime between time polls open and time polls close Ballots may be prepared in advance and sealed Ballots may be prepared in advance and sealed ○ Takes place at public meeting held, at earliest, 8AM on day prior to election and, at latest, 1 hour prior to opening of polls Counting takes place at municipal offices (with public notice) or at polling place Counting takes place at municipal offices (with public notice) or at polling place Conducted by Judges selected by municipal BoE to tally ballots Conducted by Judges selected by municipal BoE to tally ballots Challengers are welcome to observe the process. Challengers are welcome to observe the process. Secrecy of ballots must be preserved throughout process Secrecy of ballots must be preserved throughout process Detailed procedures delineated in Code Detailed procedures delineated in Code If fewer than five (5) ballots are received, an alternate procedure may be used that preserves secrecy of ballot If fewer than five (5) ballots are received, an alternate procedure may be used that preserves secrecy of ballot 27

28 Counting Absentee Ballots (2) ► Challenges  Challenges must be made prior to the ballot being opened. Some municipalities publish a list of the voters voting absentee, then ask if there are any challenges, thus they get it out of the way instead of hearing one challenge at a time while preparing the ballots.  Individual challenges while tallying must be considered and resolved by Judges. 28

29 Counting Absentee Ballots (3) ► Compare name of voter on Ballot Envelope to name of voters on list of Absentee Voters ► Determine validity of ballot  Check that the oath on the envelope signed ► Carefully remove ballot from envelope ► Place ballot face down until quantity (pre- determined) is reached ► When pre-determined quantity is reached, count ballots and tally results 29

30 Counting Absentee Ballots (4) ► Counting Procedure:  One Judge reads a ballot, two other Judges tally the count on separate sheets. ► Confirm results and seal voting materials for safekeeping  Remember: absentee ballots are official election records and must be treated accordingly 30

31 Counting Absentee Ballots (5) ► Don’t announce the total to the meeting, just compare the count numbers silently. If the two totals agree, and a recount is not required, prepare the absentee vote tally sheet, sign it, and enclose the signed tally sheet, voted ballots, rejected ballots, ballot envelopes into a carrier envelope for the Board of Elections. ► Challengers are welcome to keep track of the tally, but do not ask for their count or compare counts. 31

32 Announcing Results ► At the close of voting the BoE get the totals from the voting machines and adds the absentee tally sheet to the total tally sheet. Then the results may be announced.  NOTE: These results shall be considered “unofficial” until the BoE canvasses the election and certifies the election results. 32

33 Challenging Absentee Ballots ► Absentee ballots may be challenged  Decision to reject or accept ballot made by Board of Elections ► Ballots may be rejected for the following reasons ONLY:  Affidavit is false  Absentee Voter is not qualified elector in municipality  Oath on envelope is not signed or is altered  Envelope is open or has been opened and resealed  Absentee Voter is deceased 33

34 Recordkeeping and Tallying ► Maintain (in sealed/numbered carrier envelopes):  Ballots counted  Ballots rejected  Ballot Envelopes received after the close of polls on election day [unopened/not counted] ► Maintain all absentee materials for a minimum of 60 days following election 34

35 Recordkeeping and Tallying (2) ► Maintain log of :  Name of elector  Address where elector is registered to vote  Address where ballot mailed  Date affidavit returned  Elector’s municipal election district (if applicable)  Ballot envelope identification #  Date ballot mailed/delivered to elector  Date ballot returned ► Information requests by candidates :  Candidates may request names and addresses of all applicants for absentee ballots (at no cost) 35

36 Additional Resources ► State Election Commissioner Website  ► Information tab (left side navigation bar)  Municipal Elections link 36

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