CD 8’s FIRST GOP ASSEMBLY – TRANSPARENT, HAND-COUNTED ELECTION PROCEDURE
By Peg Cage, Teller Committee Chairman – Appointed by CD 8 GOP Chairman, Anil Mathai
Chairman Mathai’s instructions:
I want an accurate hand count and I do not want the ballots to ever leave the sight of the Delegates.
Robert’s Rules of Order, Voting by Ballot. - https://www.robertsrules.org/rror-08.htm
Phone call from gentleman from Taiwan, describing their election procedures.
Previous Teller Committee experience.
There were three races: the CD 8 Colorado Board of Education, CD 8 University of Colorado Board of Regents, and CD 8 Representative to the US House of Representatives. Aproximately 310 ballots were cast and counted in each race.
The Table Setup:
There were three tables on the stage, with six chairs at each table, three chairs on each side, for a total of 6 teams. A medium-sized CLEAR container was in the center of each table. A Small CLEAR container was placed on either side of the Medium container, directly in front of the middle team member on either side of the table.
No table cloths. Tellers remain seated until finished, with hands visible on the table at all times.
Each Eligible Delegate for CD 8 received, upon check-in by the Credentials Committee, 6 different colored ballots (index cards), stapled together.
Immediately prior to a balloted vote, Chairman Mathai announced the color of the cards to be use for that specific race, and that unfolded ballots, or 2 or more ballots folded together would be considered ineligible. Ballots folded together count as one ineligible vote.
Once Chairman Mathai opened voting, members of the Teller Committee manned the CLEAR ballot boxes, allowing only Delegates who showed their CD 8 Delegate badges to drop a ballot into the box.
A member of the Teller Committee took a ballot box to the people who were unable to bring their ballots to the front.
When Chairman Mathai closed voting, two Teller Committee members carrying the two CLEAR ballot boxes accessed the stage via stairways within view of the Delegates, and put the ballot boxes, one at a time, on a table on the stage.
Two people from the Teller Committee removed the ballots from the CLEAR ballot boxes and divided them as evenly as possible between three CLEAR medium-sized containers. The emptied large Ballot Boxes were placed on the stage within view of the Delegates.
One of the three CLEAR medium-sized containers, each now full of folded ballots, was placed in the center of each of three tables. Each table had sitting at it two teams of three; one team on either side of the table.
The Counting Process:
With all teams beginning simultaneously at the signal of the Teller Chairman, the center person of each team, called the "Reader," pulled one ballot from the medium container and read the name on the ballot. The other two on his team, one on each side of him, kept separate tallies, by making one mark on the form provided by the Teller Committee. These members were called "Tally Right" and "Tally Left." When one of the Tally members marked a group of five on the sheet, they would announce “tally.” (If the Tally members didn't match at a "tally" announcement, a new scorecard could be given to them by the Teller Chairman, all ballots replaced in the center container, and a recount started immediately. The Teller Chairman would write "void" on the original teller sheets.) After reading the ballot and confirming the Tally members had marked it, the Reader put the tallied ballot in a small clear container. Ballots were not set on the table; they went directly from the medium size container to the small container, with only the Reader touching the ballots.
When the medium container was empty, the tallies from Tally Right and Tally Left needed to match. Also, each team’s Reader counted the ballots out loud, with his teammates counting along. When they all agreed on the total number of ballots in that batch, the number of ballots were written on the team’s tally sheet.
If the two tallies on one team did not match, their batch of ballots was recounted.
When satisfied that a correct count had been achieved, a Teller Committee Judge wrote in red, at the end of each line of tally marks, the total number of ballots counted per line. The total number of ballots per batch was calculated, then added to the totals from each team on the Judge's Tally Totals sheet. (See below.) The totals were reported to Chairman Mathai.
Were allowed to sit at the ends of the tables, an arm’s length away, or walk around the tables, staying an arm’s length away from the teller members. The watchers were allowed to request team members speak louder or show the ballots more clearly, if necessary. After one warning, the Teller Chairman reserved the right to request a watcher be seated 10 feet away if they seemed to be interfering with the process.
Forms that were used:
TALLY SHEETS (Click "TALLY SHEETS" for sheets used at CD8 and examples to use at larger races.)
Download this sheet as a .pdf to print - CLICK HERE.
JUDGE'S TALLY TOTALS SHEETS
Download the following sheet as a .pdf to print - CLICK HERE.