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What We Do On Election Day?

For those of you who are interested in
what happens on Election Day, this is for you!

The polls open
at 7 a.m.
The Elections Division staff is up and ready to provide guidance, assistance and support for the election workers in the field. We are in the office before 6:30 a.m. The assistance provide includes:
- where a voter should vote
- whether a person is registered to vote
- providing additional election supplies for polling locations
- trouble shooting issues with equipment
Signature Verification Committee (SVC) After Early Voting is completed, and in some cases on Election Day, the SVC meets to review the ballots by mail and to qualify which will be accepted for counting. The committee compares the signature on the application for a Ballot by Mail with the signature on the ballot submitted. Although they are not handwriting experts, they have the responsibility for determining whether the person requesting a Ballot by Mail is the same person who has submitted it for counting.
Early Voting Ballot Board (EVBB) Once the SVC has completed its work the EVBB takes the ballots that have been accepted for counting and opens them, separating the white secrecy envelopes from yellow carrier envelopes to ensure that nobody can identify how a particular voter cast his or her ballot. Once this task has been completed the ballots are officially transferred to the Presiding Judge of the Central Counting Station.
Central Counting and Scanning the Ballots by Mail It is the responsibility of the Central Count personnel to open the white secrecy envelopes and extract the voter's ballot. These ballots are then scanned into our equipment so they are in an electronic form. This process is normally done on Election Day in preparation for tallying the results once the polls close that evening.

In some cases -- where a person has voted for more than one candidate or measure when only one should be selected [called an "over vote"] and in situations where the scanner raises a "red flag" while processing a ballot -- the individual ballot will need to be "resolved" manually. Central Count personnel work together to do this resolution process. Those ballots that do not present any issues are written to a Mobile Ballot Box [MBB] which is locked up and safeguarded until the information on them is tallied on election night.

Ballot Resolution The Texas Election Code designates the Presiding Judge of the Central Counting Station as the person responsible for determining the intent of the voter in cases where the intent may be in question. This process is called "resolving" the ballots.
  In years past, the function of "resolving" ballots has been done by a special board, called the Ballot Resolution Board (BRB), formed for that specific purpose. The BRB members are appointed by the major political parties. Although the election code no longer assigns this responsibility to a Resolution Board, it does not preclude one from being formed. Because your Elections Division wants to ensure a transparent process we continue to use the Republicans and Democrats that have been appointed to Central Count to fulfil this important role. They assist the Presiding Judge and the Manager of the Central Counting Station with the absentee resolution process.

In order to help get the vote tally announced in a timely manner on election night, this process will be done on Election Day while the polls are still open. It is important to remember that this process DOES NOT count the votes. It only causes the Ballots by Mail to be put into an electronic format, the same format that the ballots cast in Early Voting and on Election Day. Once this is done, both the Ballots by Mail and their MBB electronic version are placed in a locked metal ballot can that will not be opened until after the polls close on election night.

Counting the Votes Around 6:30 on election night, a Logic and Accuracy test is run on the tallying equipment to verify that it is working correctly. Then, at 7 p.m. the Central Counting Station opens the locked ballot can and starts to tally the Early Voting and Ballot by Mail MBBs. When the Election Day equipment is turned in by the poll workers, those votes are also tabulated. A running tally of the vote count is distributed via the Website and by local news outlets.