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March 5, 2024

Everything In Its Place: Keeping Ballots Organized

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Ballot management consists of four closely related processes: ballot accounting, reconciliation, chain of custody and organization. Together, these processes ensure end-to-end accountability for ballots during all stages of the election, from production through retention.

Effective ballot management is best facilitated through spatial organization best practices. We refer to this simply as “ballot organization.” Ballot organization is how election officials physically organize, store and transport thousands of ballots during the pre- and post-election period as well as during the election to ensure the controlled handling of voted and unvoted ballots.

This guide focuses on principles and tools for organizing paper ballots, whether they are blank ballots pre-printed by a vendor, ballots printed using an internal ballot on demand printer or voted ballots from a ballot marking device or hand-marked by a voter. This guide also introduces some simple and effective tools for organizing memory cards and chip cards.