The Recount Process: What happens during a recount?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

California Elections Code section 15620 et seq. governs recounts requested by voters.  Any voter may file a request for a recount pursuant to Elections Code section 15620.

As discussed before, the recount is done publicly.  California Elections Code section 15629. The voter requesting the recount should request all ballots and other relevant material (which in the case of the San Bernardino City Clerk’s election, should include the voter envelopes that were not signed and the ballots not counted, in case there is a court challenge about whether the ballots were validly voted under California law).  Elections Code section 15630 says:

All ballots, whether voted or not, and any other relevant material, may be examined as part of any recount if the voter filing the declaration requesting the recount so requests. No examination of any ballot shall include touching or handling the ballot without the express consent of the elections official or the election officer supervising the special recount board. No ballot may be touched or handled during the examination unless the elections official or the elections officer supervising the special recount is present to observe the examination. Except as provided in this section no ballot shall be touched or handled by any person during the recount unless that person is the elections official, a person acting at the direction of the elections official, a member of the special recount board, or by order of the superior court.

The observers can challenge a ballot using the procedure found in Elections Code section 15631:

On recount, ballots may be challenged for incompleteness, ambiguity, or other defects, in accordance with the following procedure:

(a) The person challenging the ballot shall state the reason for the challenge.

(b) The official counting the ballot shall count it as he or she believes proper and then set it aside with a notation as to how it was counted.

(c) The elections official shall, before the recount is completed, determine whether the challenge is to be allowed. The decision of the elections official is final.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

About Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law
Michael Reiter is a Redlands, California-based lawyer, serving San Bernardino County and Riverside County in Southern California's Inland Empire. Michael Reiter is a lawyer practicing in the following fields of law: Municipal Law, Code Enforcement Law, Small Business Law and Real Estate Law. Michael Reiter practices in all the local courts, including San Bernardino Superior Court, Riverside Superior Court, and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Michael Reiter was admitted to the California State Bar in 1998. Michael Reiter was Assistant City Attorney for the City of Redlands, a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Bernardino, and Staff Attorney for Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino. Michael Reiter serves all of San Bernardino and Riverside County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County. Michael Reiter can be reached at (909) 296-6708, or by electronic mail at 300 E. State St. #517 Redlands CA 92373-5235

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