General Contact Number: (530) 621-5567

Elections

​Watch the Election Preparation and Tesing Process and Get Your Questions Answered!


You are invited to be present during any of our daily election processes and procedures. If you would like to observe any part of the election process you are welcome to come in anytime during normal business hours. If you represent a group or would like to come in with a large group please notify Linda Webster by e-mail at linda.webster@edcgov.us or by phone at 530-621-7483 to ensure we are prepared to accommodate a larger group. We have limited space but will always ensure we can accommodate everyone.

Observers will be provided with information needed to observe any or all election activities. The following procedures will take place at the Elections Department: 2850 Fairlane Court, Placerville, CA 95667, unless otherwise noted. It is critical that observers strictly adhere to our code of conduct and do not interfere with election officials or the conduct of the election in any way.
  • Logic and Accuracy (L&A) Testing – (April 25 to May 4, 2022) - This is the first major step in the election integrity process where we test approximately 230 individual pieces of equipment used in the election process. Below is the purpose and process:

    • Central Tabulation - We generate and process a pre-marked ballot test deck through all Central Count tabulators. These are the heart of our tabulation and used to process ALL ballots received. The test deck has a pre-determined test pattern and results. Once all ballots have been scanned through each tabulator we generate the Election Report that is used for the election. The results are compared to the EXPECTED results and must match 100%. If there is any anomaly in the results it will be thoroughly investigated and addressed and the test run again until the results are 100% correct -- this ensures all ballots are read and tabulated correctly. We process between 1,000 and 10,000 test ballots depending on the type and size of the election. Once the test is complete and 100% correct, the system is backed up and the election is reset to ZERO (no ballots tabulated). A ZERO report is generated to ensure and show there are no votes in the system. That report is reviewed and signed off by the Registrar and Assistant Registrar, then saved with the election materials.
    • Accessible Ballot Marking Device (ADA) - Automatic and manual test scripts are developed and processed through ALL ADA devices. This process not only includes ballot generation but also interacting with every device to vote a ballot ensuring the screen is properly recognizing each touch and selecting the correct candidate (screen calibration). The ADA devices will generate a complete set of paper test ballots that are then also run through our Central Tabulation system to ensure they are read and tabulated properly.
    • Mobile Ballot Printer (MBP) - These units are used at Vote Centers to print paper ballot for voters. We test these units by loading the entire set of election ballots by precinct. Then a staff member enters pre-determined precinct numbers into the system and prints each ballot. Those ballots are then marked in a pre-determined pattern and ALSO run through the Central Tabulation system to ensure they are read and tabulated correctly.
    • ICX Card Creation (ICVA) - These units are used to generate a one-time use ballot activation card for those voters using the ADA Ballot Marking Device. The device is tested when a staff member enters pre-determined precinct numbers into the system and generates an activation card. The cards are then sued with an ADA Ballot Marking Device to ensure the proper ballot is presented. Staff then test the ADA accessibility components, audio, screen size and ballot marking functions. Those ballot are then printed and ALSO run through our Central Tabulation System to ensure accuracy. 
    • Vote Center Equipment - The County uses laptops, printers, label printers, and remote connectivity devices at each Vote Center. The testing process includes setting up each of the 60 check-in laptops and label printers and used for voter checkin. Sample voters are checked in and label printed to ensure correct and accurate voter and label creation. All connections and security are tested per vote center, as well as spare equipment used in the event of equipment issues during the election cycle. There are approximately 160 individual devices tested in this process. 
  • Vote By Mail Ballot Processing (VBM) – (May 9 to June 24, 2022) - This is the first major step in receiving and processing ballots. Below is a description of the process:

    • Ballot/Envelope Receipt and Scan (Agilis) - Ballot envelopes are received directly into our warehouse and processed through the Agilis for receipt and signature verification. The Agilis will sort out any envelopes missing a signature, from the incorrect election, cancelled ballots, double or empty ballots, or duplicate returns. It also captures an image of the envelope and crops out just the signature. The system then updates the voter's registration record to show the receipt of the ballot with a status of pending signature verification. The envelope signature is first electronically reviewed and either automatically accepted or sent for additional review by staff. Once the signature has been reviewed the envelopes are processed through the Agilis to be sorted into Accepted/Rejected signatures. 
    • Envelope/Ballot Signature Review - Every signature on every returned Vote By Mail ballot is electronically or manually reviewed against the original voter registration signature on file. The automatic signature review system approves approximately 45% of signatures. The remaining 55% are then sent to the Voter Registration system and presented in groups of 4 to an elections staff person or temporary employee who has passed signature verification training given by forensic handwriting experts. The signature is either accepted, sent for higher-level review, or rejected. Once complete the Voter Registration system sends the information to the Agilis for final sorting.
    • Envelope Opening and Ballot Extraction (OPEX) - No ballot can be removed from an envelope unless and until the signature has been accepted. Once the signature has been accepted all envelopes/ballots are sorted into groups of 100 to ensure a proper accounting/audit through the entire tabulation process. An operator retrieves a batch of 100 ballots from the approved rack. They process the envelope through the extractor which open the envelope and allows them to retrieve the ballot. They take great care to ensure every envelope has only one ballot and is not missing a ballot. Operators then perform one more count to ensure 100 ballots and 100 envelopes are present. They complete the audit paperwork that goes with that batch throughout its entire life.
    • Ballot Preparation - Ballots that have been extracted are then reviewed. First, staff once again count each envelope and ballot to ensure there is one ballot per one envelope. The envelope is kept in a group and put away and the ballots are reviewed for tears, marks that would interfere with tabulation, signatures or other identifying marks. Once they have been reviewed they are secured in the ballot tabulation room with their audit sheet.
    • Ballot Duplication- After ballot inspection there may be a ballot that cannot be processed through the tabulators. Issues that can cause that are tears, stains, inappropriate marks, jelly, etc. Ballots that cannot be submitted to tabulation are duplicated. Each ballot to be duplicated is matched with a blank ballot of the same style. Both ballots are issued a unique serial number so they are always matched together. A team of two then marks the new ballot with the exact votes of the original ballot. Duplicated ballots are then grouped and sent to tabulation. The original ballots are preserved for review at any time against the duplicated ballot to ensure they were adjudicated correctly.
  • Vote Centers and Election Day Observing – (June 7, 2022) Below is a description of the process:

    • Vote Center Observing - Observers are welcome at any Vote Center during normal hours. If you would like to be an observer, please contact Linda Webster by e-mail at linda.webster@edcgov.us or by phone at 530-621-7483. Linda will provide you with the rules and regulations of being an observer at a Vote Center. 
  • Election Night Procedures – (June 7, 2022) - After the polls close, results from the vote by mail ballots will be released at the office:

    • Elections Office Election Night - Election officials will collect ballots in teams of 2 from each Vote Center and bring them to the Elections office for Central Counting. All ballots cast at a Vote Center will be tabulated Election Night and released periodically throughout the night. By the end of the evening, semi-official election night results will be available on the web and in hard copy at the Elections Department. 
  • Post Election Canvass – (Beginning June 8, 2022) - Our official canvass of the vote, which includes processing all remaining ballots, researching provisional ballots, auditing the polls and conducting a manual tally of paper ballots cast (noted below) will continue until complete. Observers are encouraged throughout this entire process. Pursuant to Elections Code §15372, the elections official shall prepare a certified statement of the results of the election within 30 days of the election. 

    • 1% Manual Tally - After Election Day the election department is required to randomly select (through the roll of dice or picking from a hat) a minimum of 1% of all tabulation batches. Those batches are then manually tallied, comparing the results against the electronically tabulated results for those batches.
    • Risk Limiting Audit (RLA) - After Election Day the election department also chooses to perform a Risk Limiting Audit. Using a system supplied the California Secretary of State's Office (SOS) the system randomly selects ballots from throughout the entire election. The number selected is statistically based on the total number of ballots tabulated to ensure a high degree of statistical review. Those individual ballots are then entered into the system which then compares the electronic tabulation against the manually entered ballot. If there is not a complete match of all ballots additional ballots are again randomly selected and the process is continued until all results have been verified. Those results are available on our website.