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)
The ballot would be marked as an “Exhibit 1a” and consequently not be counted. The absentee ballot certificate envelop would be marked “Exhibit 1b”. This ballot would be bundled with all the ballots marked as “Exhibits” and returned to the ballot bag at the end of the procedures.
QUESTION: Should the certificate envelop be placed in the rejected absentee ballot envelop or should it be attached to the rejected ballot?
ANSWER: The certificate envelope and the ballot should be attached together. The ballot was drawn down because of the defective envelope. All exhibits should be secured together by reporting unit in a separate container for easy access in the case of court review. The rejected ballot envelope and drawn down ballot should not be returned to the ballot bag.