Now that the election is over, the Tooele County Clerk’s Office can forget about elections until next year, right? To everyone else, after the unofficial count shows up election night, the election is over. Not so for the clerk’s office.
First there are the provisional ballots to count. Each provisional ballot is researched to see if the voter is registered anywhere within the State of Utah. If they are, and they’ve filled out and signed the provisional ballot form, their vote counts. If they are not registered within the state, or they didn’t sign their form, the ballot will not count.
All is not lost, however. The provisional ballot form will be used to register them in Tooele County so they’re all set for the next election. Next there is an audit done of the voting machines. The serial number of each machine used in the election is put into a computer-generated Excel spreadsheet and a machine used in each municipality is randomly selected to be audited.
The vote count from election night must match the vote count when it is re-run on audit day. Then they must all match the paper count from the “Voter Verified Paper Ballot” that runs after you have cast your ballot.
Also, any ballots received in the mail, which have been postmarked the day before the election, must be counted and added to the total. That is followed by canvas reports, which are created for each entity involved in the election. A canvas report is the final count for the offices open. If there are any ballots that were not counted, the reason for not counting them must be explained.
The city council or board of directors for each municipality or special service district must approve and sign the canvas report for the election to be closed. So, the clerk’s office is finished now, right? Afraid not.
Now the job of taking the election apart begins. The TSX machines are put back in storage, the computers all cleared off, and supplies put back on the shelf or thrown away. The memory cards with the election results have been backed up and are stored for 22 months. The paper rolls from the election held 22 months ago are unrolled in preparation for the next election. Final financial reports received from the candidates are posted and now, the election is put away—until the next time!
Marilyn K. Gillette
Tooele County Clerk