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25-4412. Same; securing voting systems against voting after polls closed; counting ballots or envelopes; checking against poll book; write-in votes; sealing of ballots and delivery to judges; duties of election officer and election board members at counting location; official returns, open to public, posting; counting ballots manually, when. (a) In voting areas where electronic or electromechanical voting systems are used, as soon as the polls are closed, the supervising judge shall secure the voting equipment to prevent further voting. The judge shall count the number of ballots or envelopes containing ballots that have been cast to determine that the number of ballots equals the number of voters shown on the poll book. If there is a discrepancy, this fact shall be reported in writing to the county election officer with the reasons therefor if known. The write-in votes shall then be counted by the supervising judge and clerks.

(b) The supervising judge shall place any paper ballots that have been cast in the container provided for the purpose, which shall be sealed and delivered forthwith by two election board members who shall not be of the same political party, to the counting location together with the provisional, unused, void and defective ballots and returns.

(c) All proceedings at the counting location shall be under the direction of the county election officer and under the observation of two election board members who shall not be of the same political party and shall be open to the public, but no persons except those employed and authorized for the purpose shall touch any ballot, ballot container or return. If any paper ballot is damaged or defective so that it cannot properly be counted by the automatic tabulating equipment, such ballot shall be manually counted. The totals for all such ballots manually counted shall be added to the totals for the respective precincts or election districts.

(d) The return printed by the automatic tabulating equipment, to which has been added the return of write-in and advance voting votes and manually counted votes, shall constitute the official return of each precinct or election district. Upon completion of the count the returns shall be open to the public. A copy of the returns shall be posted at the central counting place or at the office of the election officer in lieu of the posting of returns at the individual precincts.

(e) If for any reason it becomes impracticable to count all or a part of the ballots with tabulation equipment, the county election officer may direct that they be counted manually, following as far as practicable the provisions governing the counting of paper ballots.

History: L. 1977, ch. 129, § 12; L. 1995, ch. 192, § 49; L. 2007, ch. 125, § 19; July 1.

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