In California, there is no legal requirement for an “automatic recount” in any election race. However, if a voter requests a recount of a particular office or measure, the election official of the county must comply. In this article, we will discuss the process for recounting ballots in San Diego County elections in detail. The first step is to post a notice detailing when and where the recount will take place, as well as the daily calendar.
This notice must be posted at least one day before the recount begins. The next step is to retain and maintain the ballots and other election records for 22 months from the date of the elections. Many state, local, and territorial jurisdictions require specific security protocols for stored ballots and other election records, such as storage in a secure vault with double-lock systems that can only be opened when authorized representatives of both political parties are present. Election officials also use a variety of technological, physical, and procedural controls to help safeguard these systems and the integrity of the electoral processes they support.
These security measures include backups of online registration data, provisional ballots, and same-day registration in several states. If a recount yields a different result, election officials in the affected county must recertify their results with the Secretary of State. The candidate whose name appeared on the ballot of the districts where the recount is requested or any other person who has received votes for that office in the districts where the recount is requested and who is legally able to run for and hold the office in question may request a recount. In addition, if the difference between the votes cast in favor of the candidate presenting the candidacy and the one who has been declared elected is less than 20% of the total votes cast in the cities that make up the position to be counted, then a recount may be requested. Finally, if more than one voter requests a recount of the same office or measure, and at least one request is for a manual recount, then election officials will perform only a manual count of those ballots, which will be decisive. It is important to note that recounts are not automatic in California. However, if requested by a voter or candidate, election officials must comply with all necessary steps to ensure that all ballots are accurately counted.
This includes posting notices detailing when and where recounts will take place, maintaining ballots and other election records for 22 months from the date of elections, recertifying results with the Secretary of State if necessary, and performing manual recounts if requested. By following these steps, San Diego County election officials can ensure that all ballots are accurately counted and that all votes are properly represented.