Counting Our Votes One-by-One, Contest-by-Contest

Registrar of Voters employees began the 1% manual vote tally on Tuesday

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“It can appear to be a bit monotonous.”

That’s an understatement.

Sixty people sat inside the warehouse at the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters Tuesday to scan, count and check off thousands of ballots. Teams of three checked ballots one-by-one, contest-by-contest, and didn’t fall asleep.

It appeared monotonous but it’s incredibly important.

“This is the 1% manual tally,” Assistant Registrar of Voters Cynthia Paes said.

Paes explained that the tally is to verify the machines that scan the ballots and count the votes are functioning accurately. She said they manually count roughly 1% of the ballots from Election Day and 1% of the mail-in ballots.

Within each team of three, one person reads each contest on a ballot while two others mark and check the accurate count. They will repeat this for hundreds of ballots every day through this week and into the weekend.

“This will go on for eight hours each day,” Paes said. “This is just one of the many steps we have in place to ensure the accuracy of the equipment and the overall election.”

Over the years, Paes said they have yet to find a machine that malfunctioned.

“The way the machines, the scanners, are reading the vote has been consistently accurate,” Paes said.

“Accurate” is the key word for the registrar of voters.

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