4.4.1 Sorting

Using the mailing house code or a numerical code, the ballots are sorted at the counting tables.

4.4.2 Verification

Each envelope is checked for a signature that matches the name on the label. Any challenged vote is set aside. Every green and red ballot is automatically challenged by the Division agent. In the event both the original and duplicate ballots are received, only the ballot in the envelope with the earliest postmark will be counted. If the post­marks are illegible, the envelope with the earliest stamp date will be counted. If two ballots are returned in one envelope, both ballots will be challenged. If the parties agree, one will be counted, provided the secrecy of the ballot is maintained. Duplicate ballots that are not counted will not be entered in the tally as challenged or voided ballots, but preserved for display to the parties as duplicates. The stubs of the envelope or postmark will be returned and attached to the duplicate ballot. All envelopes without signatures are void. An envelope with a signature different from the mailing label is acceptable provided the name is not substantially different (i.e., Jack Douglas, signed, although label reads John Douglas). Any ballot that identifies the voter is void.

4.4.3 Tabulation Process

The verified envelopes are mixed after the signature and label sections have been torn off. The envelopes are slit and the ballots are placed faced down in blocks of 50. The ballots are tabulated. The intent of the voter must be clearly evident. The parties may protest any ballot where the intent is unclear. If the Division agent cannot identify the intent of the voter, the agent declares the ballot void. The tallies are placed on sheets in the blocks of 50. The final result is announced upon completion.