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Elections and Voter Information

Voter Information

Ballot Preparation and Sample Ballots for March 1, 2016 Primary Election

To: County Election Officials and County Chairs
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Date: December 16, 2015
RE: Ballot Preparation and Sample Ballots for March1,2016 Primary Election

The ballot drawing for the March 1, 2016 primary election must occur not later than Thursday, December 24, 2015. After the ballot drawing is completed, you may prepare your ballots. Our office recommends completing your ballots not later than Wednesday, December 30, 2015 as the early voting clerk may begin mailing ballots to voters who have requested them as soon as the ballots are ready, and must mail ballot to military and overseas voters not later than January 16, 2016.

Preparing Ballots:

We have enclosed a sample ballot to assist you in preparing your ballot. The sample ballot shows the correct office title with the Spanish translation as well as the order of the races that are to appear on the ballot. The sample ballot contains races that are not necessarily applicable to your county. Accordingly, you will need to pick and choose the races that are applicable to your county, based on the party certification. The sample ballot includes titles for races that are not normally up in 2016, but may be up for an unexpired (partial) term. It also contains only one title for each race; it is possible that you have more than one office on your ballot and, therefore, will need to repeat that race title. In preparing a ballot, remember that a voter may only receive a ballot that contains the races on which the voter is entitled to vote. As a result, you may have more than one type of ballot for voting in your county. These different types of ballots are often referred to as “ballot styles” or “ballot combinations.” The sample ballot is only a guide and is not designed for you to insert the names of the candidates directly on the sample ballot.

Please remember that a voter may not be given a ballot that contains an office for which the voter is not entitled to vote. As a result, anytime you have a race on the ballot that is not common to all voters, a new ballot style has to be printed.

Although write-in voting is not permitted for the public offices on the primary ballot, write-in voting is permissible for the office of county chair and precinct chair. Persons wishing to run as a write-in must file a declaration of write-in candidacy no later than December 21, 2015 at 6 p.m. Place a line for write-in candidates for county chair only if a candidate timely files.

Preparing Ballots For Public Offices:

Candidates for public office may not be declared nominated if they are unopposed in the primary election. You must print their names on the ballot under the appropriate race title. Votes for these candidates will be cast and counted. The law which allows certain uncontested candidates for public office to be declared elected is applicable only in the November General Election. If you do not have a candidate running for a particular public office, either state, district, county, or precinct, do not include that office on the ballot.

Preparing Ballots For The Office of County Chair

  1. More than one candidate filed to have name printed on ballot and no declared write-in candidates filed:
    1. Race is printed on ballot; and
    2. No write-in line is provided and write-in voting is prohibited.
  2. Only one candidate filed for county chair to have name printed on ballot:
    1. Race is printed on ballot; and
    2. No write-in line is provided and write-in voting is prohibited.
  3. Only one candidate filed as a write-in candidate for precinct chair and no candidate filed to have name printed on ballot:
    1. Race is printed on ballot with one write-in line;
    2. List of the declared write-in candidate is posted in each voting booth;
    3. Write-in voting is restricted to candidate on declared list; and
    4. No other write-in votes will be counted.
  4. One candidate filed to have name printed on ballot and at least one candidate filed as a write-in candidate:
    1. Race is printed on ballot with one write-in line;
    2. List of declared write-in candidates is posted in each voting booth;
    3. Write-in voting is restricted to candidates on declared list; and
    4. No other write-in votes will be counted.
  5. Two candidates filed for write-in candidacy and no one filed to have name printed on ballot:
    1. Race is printed on ballot with one write-in line;
    2. List of declared write-in candidates is posted in each voting booth;
    3. Write-in voting is restricted to candidates on declared list; and
    4. No other write-in votes will be counted.

Preparing Ballots For The Office of Precinct Chair:

  1. More than one candidate filed to have name printed on ballot and no declared write-in candidates filed:
    1. Race is printed on ballot; and
    2. No write-inline is provided and write-in voting is prohibited.
  2. Only one candidate filed for precinct chair to have name printed on ballot:
    1. 1.Candidate declared elected and race is not printed on ballot.
  3. Only one candidate filed as a write-in candidate for precinct chair and no candidate filed to have name printed on ballot:
    1. Candidate declared elected and race is not printed on ballot.
  4. D.One candidate filed to have name printed on ballot and at least one candidate filed as a write-in candidate:
    1. Race is printed on ballot with one write-in line;
    2. List of declared write-in candidates is posted in each voting booth;
    3. Write-in voting is restricted to candidates on declared list; and
    4. No other write-in votes will be counted.
  5. Two candidates filed for write-in candidacy and no one filed to have name printed on ballot:
  6. Race is printed on ballot with one write-inline;
  7. List of declared write-in candidates is posted in each voting booth;
  8. Write-in voting is restricted to candidates on declared list; and
  9. No other write-in votes will be counted.

The office of precinct chair is a distinctive office and requires a new ballot style for each precinct. If the office of precinct chair is printed on the ballot with candidate names, print the precinct number as part ofthe race title. If the office of precinct chair is printed onthe ballot with only a write-in line and no candidate name, the race title is not required to include the precinct number for the race. In this case, the election judge will need to hand-write the number of the precinct on the back of the ballot next to the election judge’s name so that the ballot can be identified and counted by precinct. This will reduce the number of ballot styles required to be printed and thus reduce printing costs. NOTE: If you are using a DRE electronic voting system, you may use paper ballots for precinct chair races.

If the office of precinct chair is not printed on the ballot because all chairs have been declared elected and election precincts are consolidated, the consolidated precincts may be counted as one precinct.

If you have any questions regarding these matters, please feel free to contact the Elections Division toll-free at 1-800-252-2216.

Enclosure

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