|To:||County Elections Officers (County Clerks/Elections Administrators/Tax Assessors-Collectors)|
|From:||Keith Ingram, Director of Elections|
|Date:||October 5, 2012|
|RE:||Partial Manual Count after the November 6, 2012 General Election for State and County Officers|
Pursuant to Section 127.201(a) of the Texas Election Code (the “Code”), the general custodian of election records in an election in which an electronic voting system is used must conduct a partial manual count in one percent of the election precincts or three election precincts, whichever is greater. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 127.201(a) (Vernon 2011).
A Note to Counties Using Only DRE Voting Systems:
House Bill 2817 amended the Texas Election Code to exempt direct recording electronic voting systems from the manual count requirement. The Secretary of State has decided to also exempt these DRE-only counties from the partial manual count of mail optical scan ballots as well. This is to avoid the possibility of revealing individual’s votes in certain precincts and also in recognition that mail ballots are often not retained by precinct. We note that per Section 127.202 of the Code, if it is determined to be necessary, the Secretary of State has authority to order a manual or automatic count to be conducted after any election to ensure the accuracy of the tabulation of votes.
You will have access to the online form the day after the November Elections. You are to use the same ENR password to access your county’s partial manual count. After entering the site, you will first be asked a question to determine whether you are one of the few counties that does not use electronic equipment to count ballots. After entering your response, you will be given either a notice that your county does not need to conduct the partial manual count or you will be prompted to continue. Each county’s selected precincts and the assigned race will be pre-populated to begin the partial manual count. You can then print this list and exit the program.
For the general election for state and county officers, the Secretary of State is required to select the precincts and designate no more than three offices and not more than three propositions to be manually counted.
You must begin the count no later than 72 hours after the polls close [7:00 p.m. (8:54 p.m. for Galveston County) on November 9, 2012], and the count must be completed no later than the 21st day after election day (November 27, 2012). The count will include only election day votes that have been electronically tabulated.
If more than one electronic voting system is used for a precinct, the manual count will include counts from all systems. You may, but are not required to, hire outside help to assist you in this task.
You are not required to petition a district judge for permission to retrieve the paper or electronic ballots, since this is a procedure that is required by law. At the time you have designated to begin the manual count, you should arrange access to the paper and/or electronic ballots for the selected precincts. Following the manual count, all election material shall be re-secured and returned to the appropriate authority.
After you have performed your manual count, please access the same website and enter the data. Note: any discrepancies found between electronic and manual count totals should be noted in the discrepancy field provided.
Please contact Juanita Woods or Irene Diaz at and/or call 1-800-252-2216 (press 2), if you have any questions in conducting your partial manual count or if you experience any problems entering your data.