CHAPTER 154

ELECTIONS PROVIDING A METHOD FOR COUNTING BALLOTS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 60 OF THE REVISED CODE OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, 1935, ENTITLED, "GENERAL ELECTIONS", BY PROVIDING A METHOD FOR COUNTING BALLOTS AT ELECTIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That 1864. Sec. 55, Chapter 60, of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing all of the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section as follows:

1864. Sec. 55. Method of Counting Votes; Account, How Kept; Counting to be Uninterrupted:--When the election shall be closed, the Inspector shall openly and publicly unlock the box containing the ballots, and shall remove the lid so far that the envelopes containing the ballots can be taken separately from the box. The Inspector shall keep in his custody the said box, and shall publicly, and in the presence of the Judges and such of the electors as shall think proper to be present, take the envelopes containing the ballots one by one from the box, and remove the ballot from the envelope. The ballots shall be read and counted as follows: one of the Judges shall open the ballots and place in separate piles all those ballots which are properly marked so as to vote for all the candidates on a particular ticket (usually called straight tickets); ballots which do not correspond with the (straight tickets), that is, those ballots containing cross (x) marks indicating the desire of the elector to vote part of one ticket and part of another ticket, usually called a "split ticket", and those ballots from which the name or names of any candidates have been scratched, usually called a "cut ticket", shall be ' placed together in a separate pile. Each of the Judges shall then examine the separate piles which are, or supposed to be, alike, and shall exclude from such pile any ballot incorrectly placed therein which does not correspond in names and markings with the other ballots in such pile. One of the Judges shall then take ten ballots from one pile of the straight ballots and carefully examine each name on each ballot; such Judge shall then pass the ten ballots to the other Judge who shall examine them and count them in the same manner and shall then pass them to the Inspector who shall examine them and count them in the same manner; the Inspector shall then call the names of the persons named on the ten ballots and the offices for which they are designated and the Poll Clerks shall tally ten votes for each of such persons; the said Judges and Inspector shall go through the several such piles of straight ballots and shall count them by tens in the same manner and shall call the names of the persons named in said ballots for the office for which they are designated. The Poll Clerks shall tally the votes by tens for each of such persons in the same manner as in the first instance. When the counting of each pile of straight ballots is completed, the Poll Clerks shall compare their tallies together and ascertain the total number of votes received by each candidate for a particular office and when they agree upon the number, the Clerks shall announce it to the Inspector and Judges. The Inspector and Judges shall then canvass the ballots which do not correspond, that is, those containing names voted partly from one ticket and partly from another ticket, herein designated "split tickets", and those from which names have been scratched, herein designated "cut tickets". Such ballots shall be canvassed separately; each of the Judges shall examine each such ballot and shall then pass it to the Inspector who shall examine it and if found to be properly voted, the Inspector shall then call each name to the Poll Clerks and the office for which it is designated, and the Poll Clerks shall make a tally of the same. When all the ballots have been canvassed as provided herein, the Poll Clerks shall again compare their tallies together and ascertain the total number of votes received by each candidate and when they agree they shall announce to the Inspector and Judges the total number of votes received by each candidate for each office.

The two Poll Clerks shall keep accurate count of the ballots as they are read and counted, which shall be done on the tally sheets, by writing the name of every person voted for in the margin under a designation of the office for which the vote is given to him, and making a distinct mark with a pen in the squares in the row against such name for every vote such person shall receive for the same office, and each square, when full, shall contain five marks; and each clerk shall, upon hearing the name, repeat it with the number of marks in the row, pronouncing at the last mark in each square "tally" and at the first mark of the succeeding square, "one on the new if the same person shall be voted for two different offices, his name shall be written in the margin for each office, and a just count kept of the votes given to him for each office. The reading and counting of votes shall be continued, without interruption or adjournment, until completed.

Section 2. That 1859. Sec. 50, Chapter 60, of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing the last paragraph of said Section.

Section 3. That all Acts or parts of Acts, inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

Approved April 3, 1947.