Certifying Results (Canvass)
After polling places close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, all voted ballots are sealed, secured and transported by sheriff’s deputies to be centrally tabulated at the RR/CC headquarters: 12400 Imperial Hwy., Norwalk, CA 90650. Election Night counts include ballots at the polling places as well as Vote by Mail ballots received and processed up until Monday before Election Day.
Finalizing the Official Vote Tally (Canvass)
Counting votes does not end on Election Night. The RR/CC makes sure all ballots cast are counted. After Election Night in a statewide election, there are thousands of ballots that need to be counted, including Vote by Mail ballots received on Election Day, provisional ballots, write-in ballots and damaged ballots. These ballots are counted during the 30-day period known as the Official Election Canvass. Ballots require additional review to verify voters are eligible to vote and write-in ballots were cast for qualified candidates.
California state law requires the RR/CC to complete and certify results within 30 days. This provision of the law recognizes the complexity of completing the ballot count and conducting a thorough audit of the election results to ensure accuracy.
The RR/CC realizes it is difficult for candidates/campaigns involved in close contests to wait for results of the election. The legally mandated processes described above are utilized to guarantee that every vote is counted and included in the official final election returns.
Auditing the Election Results
By law, a random sample of ballots from every election must be manually tallied to verify Election Night machine counts. A minimum of all votes cast in one percent (1%) of the precincts is included in this process, which is known as the 1% Manual Tally Audit.
Candidates and the public are invited to observe the ballot counting and auditing process. The Election Observer Panel Plan is available on Upcoming Elections. After Election Night, the schedule of election results updates will be posted on the entrance door of the RR/CC headquarters and online.
Guides for Recounts, Recalls & Initiatives