(a) Upon receipt of the envelope marked “Absentee Ballot Enclosed” from persons voting under chapters 01 through 12 of this title, the Chief Election Officer or the election officials of the absentee polling place shall document its receipt and deposit it in the corresponding absentee ballot container. Prior to depositing the envelopes the envelopes shall be checked for the following:
(1) sufficiency of statement;
(2) if the signature corresponds with the absentee request or register;
(3) if the qualified elector is a registered qualified elector and has complied with the requirements of 6.0214 or 6.0215; and
(4) if the envelope appears to be tampered with.
(b) Envelopes that meet the above requirements shall be deposited in the corresponding absentee ballot container.
(c) If any of the above requirements is not met, the officials shall mark across the face of the envelope “Questionable” giving the reasons therefor, and the envelope shall be placed unopened in a separate container and disposed of as prescribed for ballots in 6.0804.
(d) Counting of absentee ballots for an issue, and for the offices of Governor & Lieutenant Governor, and Delegate to the United States House of Representative may begin after 1:30 p.m. on election day. The absentee ballot containers for such issue(s) or offices may be opened no sooner than 1:30 p.m. on election day. Upon opening the containers, the envelopes shall be opened and the ballots counted at the absentee polling place. In no case, however, shall the results of the absentee count become publicly known before the polls have officially closed.
(e) Counting of absentee ballots for each office of Representative to the House of Representatives may begin only after the polls are closed on election day. The absentee ballot container(s) for such offices may be opened no sooner than 4:30 p.m. on the day before the election. Upon opening the container(s), the reply envelopes may be sorted for distribution to polling places designated by the Chief Election Officer. The sorted absentee ballot envelopes must be secured in the ballot boxes for the designated polling places, and may be removed only by the district official upon arrival at and opening of the polls on election day. Reply envelopes containing ballots that are received after the absentee ballot container(s) are opened but no later that the deadline specified in 6.1105, shall be checked for the above requirements of (a)(1) through (4). If the above requirements are met, the envelopes may be sorted and then distributed for counting at polling places designated by the Chief Election Officer.
(f) Persons violating this section shall be guilty of an election offense under chapter 12.History: 1977, PL 15-42 § 1, amd 1985, PL 19-31 § 6; 2002, PL 27-31.
Amendments: 1985 Subsection (e). Deleted “section 6.1105” and added “chapter 12”.