Wednesday’s story “Clerk: Mail ballots are safer than you think,” stated ballot verification includes reaching out to the voter to ensure his or her vote was cast as intended. To clarify, this does not mean that election judges or county clerk staff are looking at voted ballots and contacting the voter. Rather, they look at the signature on the outside envelope to verify it, and if there appears to be a signature discrepancy, they contact the voter.
Once a ballot is received and the signature on the back of the return envelope is approved by a bipartisan team of election judges, it goes to the processing judges, who remove the ballot from the envelope. From there, the envelope goes to storage and ballots are sent in batches to the scan room, where they are scanned in groups of 50. After that, the system sends all ballots with over-votes, blanks, write-ins and ambiguous marks to adjudication and bipartisan teams of election judges review it to determine voter intent. Once a ballot has been separated from the envelope, there is no way to determine who the voter was, therefore, election staff and volunteers do not know how a particular person voted.