[Adopted 9-3-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-8; amended in its entirety 8-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-11]
When the Board finds by a majority vote that it is unable to determine the objective intent of the voter, the vote for that office shall not be counted. In the event that paper ballots are used, ballots containing votes not counted shall be kept separate from the rest of the ballots.
Marking of ballots.
Ballots validly marked in favor of a candidate whose name appears on a ballot must be counted as a vote in favor of that candidate.
Ballots validly marked in favor of a write-in candidate must contain at least the first and last name of the candidate in order to be eligible to be counted as a vote in favor of that candidate, except that the Board of Supervisors of Elections shall attempt to comply with the objective intent of the voter as expressed by the ballot, as provided in Subsection D of this section.
Overvotes. Ballots which are marked in favor of more candidates than specific offices available must not be counted as valid ballots for that specific office or offices, if multiple positions are available.
Incorrectly marked ballots; objective intent of the voter. The Board of Supervisors of Elections shall attempt to comply with the objective intent of the voter as expressed by the ballot, to the extent that objective intent can be reasonably ascertained. If a majority of the Board of Supervisors of Elections is unable to determine the objective intent of the voter from the markings on the ballot, the vote for that office shall not be counted. A majority ruling of the Board shall constitute the Board's decision to count the vote in favor of a candidate. Ballots containing votes incorrectly marked shall be kept separate from the rest of the ballots.
With respect to write-in candidates, the objective intent of the voter in incorrectly writing in candidates shall be judged with reference to other active candidates, including write-in candidates.
[Amended 2-4-2019 by Ord. No. 2018-20]
Subject to the provisions concerning provisional ballot set forth in Article IIA, § 10-21.1 above, when the right of any person to vote shall be challenged, the challenge shall be made immediately before such person enters the voting booth. The person, to include any election judge(s), challenging an individual's right to vote shall assign the reason for the challenge under penalties of perjury. The challenged voter shall respond truthfully under penalty of perjury. A challenged voter shall be allowed to vote only if a majority of the members of the Town Board of Supervisors of Elections agree that his/her vote should be cast.
Within 48 hours after the results of the election are announced, any candidate defeated on the fact of the returns may petition the Board of Supervisors of Elections for an appeal from and review of the action and decision of the Board in counting the ballots and for a recount of the ballots cast, or review of all electronic voting device records.
The petition shall be filed with an affidavit or affidavits made from personal knowledge by candidates, watchers, challengers or other persons, setting forth acts of fraud, mistake, error or irregularity in making the count of the votes by the Board, or setting forth that some of the returns and tally sheets show on their faces ambiguity, error, fraud, mistake or miscalculations by the Board.
The Board of Supervisors of Elections, after receiving the petition, shall review the issues raised and may respond accordingly, including to review the ballots, tabulations, and all electronic voting device records, but if required to resolve the issues raised, shall proceed without answering to recount the ballots.
The review and recount of ballots shall be completed within 72 hours after the petition has been filed, under such procedures as the Board shall prescribe.
The recount shall be conducted in the presence of the candidates or their representatives.
The petitioner shall pay the cost of the recount unless the result of the election is reversed by the recount, in which case the costs shall be borne by the Town. Costs may include but are not limited to reimbursement to the Town for the time of employees or temporary staff that may be assigned or employed to assist with the recount, and may also include the time of the Board of Supervisors of Elections and election clerks to the extent they assist with the recount.
Contests concerning voting or the validity of any vote in any election shall be decided by the Board of Supervisors of Elections.
No vote nor the results of any election shall be rejected on a contest or appeal except by the unanimous vote of the Board.
Any candidate or voter who wishes to contest the results of an election or any matter relating to the validity of a vote shall file a petition with the Board of Supervisors of Elections within 48 hours after the election results are announced. The petition shall be signed under oath and shall set forth a complete statement of all facts on which the candidate or voter relies to support such election contest.
Upon receiving the petition, the Board shall notify all candidates potentially affected by the contest that a contest has been submitted.
The Board of Supervisors of Elections shall conduct a factual investigation of the contest and shall decide the contest no later than 10 calendar days after the receipt of the notice of election contest by the Board. The Board must make all reasonable efforts to render a decision within 10 days. Only if the Board fails to render a decision within 10 days, the contest shall be deemed denied.
Any candidate or voter aggrieved by any decision of the Board of Supervisors of Elections shall have the right to appeal such decision to the Circuit Court of Carroll County. Such appeal must be filed within three business days after the final decision of the Board of Supervisors of Elections which is being appealed.
In the event of a timely Circuit Court appeal, the incumbent office holder shall continue to hold office until his or her successor is duly qualified following a decision of the Court. If the Circuit Court appeal is withdrawn or dismissed, the final decision of the Board of Supervisors of Elections which is or was being appealed shall stand.