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Frequently Asked Questions

This Frequently Asked Questions is being added to all the time. Please check back again for new entries.

  • Certificate envelope issues

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    BACKGROUND:  During the conference yesterday, there was an absentee ballot certificate question where the clerk accepted the absentee ballot certificate as sufficient even though it was not signed by a witness.  If during the recount, an insufficient absentee ballot certificate is encountered, where the ballot was not rejected at the polling place, the Board of Canvassers would randomly remove one absentee ballot from the pool of voted absentee ballots. (Page 9 of instructions)

  • Media access to recount area

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    BACKGROUND: We expect a significant amount of press coverage at the Recount.  The intention is to confine the press cameras to a specific area to limit distraction. 

    QUESTION:  Do you see a problem with allowing the press a specific time to “rove” the room to collect stock footage?

    ANSWER:  We see no problem allowing the press to roam in the recount area for a limited period of time to collect stock footage as long as it is not disruptive.

  • Photographing ballots

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    BACKGROUND:  We know that the candidates’ representative will photograph objected to ballots.

    QUESTION:  Is the press also allowed to film close ups of these ballots?

    ANSWER:  The press may do a close up of a ballot during the limited period of roaming.  It is not anticipated that the press will be close enough to see and film what the candidate representatives are examining before the Board of Canvassers.

  • Cell phones in Recount Room

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    BACKGROUND:  Your instructions include a list of prohibited items from entering the Recount Room.

      What is your position on the presence and use of cell phones?

    ANSWER:  Cell phones should be in vibrate mode. The public, candidate representatives and assistants can leave the area to take a call.

  • What to Do if Test Ballots Were Shredded

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    QUESTION:    The test ballots that were used for the spring election public test were shredded, what do we need to do?

    ANSWER:    You will need to contact your ballot printer immediately and have additional ballots printed to be used for the testing of electronic voting equipment.  All electronic voting systems are required to be tested for each reporting unit to be tabulated by that system.

  • Military Voters

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    QUESTION:  Were military voters provided an extension for the Spring Election?
    ANSWER: No, State law only provides an extension for military voters during the Partisan Primary and General Election, so there was no extension for the receipt of ballots cast by military voters in the Spring Election.  Also, because there was no federal office on the ballot, the provisions of the Military Overseas Voter Empowerment Act do not apply.

  • Process for Ballots Set Aside

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    QUESTION:  For optical scan ballots that are will be tabulated by electronic voting equipment (Optech Eagle excluded) what are the processes for ballots that are set aside?

  • Correct email address for Attorney Jim Troupis

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    QUESTION:  What is the correct email address for Attorney Jim Troupis?

    ANSWER:  Recount Update #8 sent to county clerks on April 26, 2011 contained an error for the email address of Attorney Jim Troupis, one of the attorneys representing the Prosser campaign.  The correct email address for is  We apologize for the error.

  • Recounting DRE (Touchscreen) Ballots

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    QUESTION:   Are all ballots recorded on the DRE required to separate individual voter records by cutting the paper record?

  • Using Ballot Bins

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    QUESTION:    Are ballot bins used with electronic voting equipment required to be utilized during the recount proceedings?

  • Ballots not properly initialed

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    QUESTION:  If ballots were not properly initialed, what should the Board of Canvass do?

  • How to report total ballots cast

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    QUESTION:    When reporting the number of reporting units completed by the Board of Canvassers, how is the "total ballots cast" figure determined?

  • Meeting on Weekends

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    QUESTION:  Is the Board of Canvassers required to meet during the weekend?

    ANSWER:  The Statutes permit the Board to adjourn for not more than one day at a time.  However, if your Board is confident that it will complete the recount by Friday, May 6, 2011, it can choose to adjourn for both days of this weekend, April 30 and May 1.  The deadline for completing the recount is Monday, May 9, 2011.

  • Retention of Election Materials

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    QUESTION:  How long must we retain the election materials from both the Spring Election and Statewide Recount?

  • Changing the method used to recount ballots once the recount has begun

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    QUESTION:  Can a recount canvass board decide to change the method used to recount ballots once the recount has begun?

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