Election Management Guidelines
EMG Chapter 10: Developing an Audit Trail
Election officials can use documentation to prove the accuracy, validity, and integrity of an election. Formal audit trails also are an essential tool for election officials to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of their current policies and procedures. This chapter covers the procedures for developing an audit trail, including the type of documentation necessary, and discusses audit trails for pre- and post-election activities, absentee voting, early voting, polling places, and equipment.
EMG Chapter 11: Contingency Planning and Change Management
Election officials will need to be able to respond to events that have the ability to disrupt elections in their local jurisdictions. They may do so by developing contingency and change management plans in order to respond to these situations in a timely and effective manner. This chapter provides useful information for identifying, assessing, developing and implementing contingency plans, including related tips and information about organizing response teams and pre- and post-election issues.
EMG Chapter 12: Building Community Partnerships
Election Day is an event that should involve the entire community to ensure success. This chapter offers information on how election officials can reach out to local, State, regional, and national professional organizations for advice on a variety of election topics including forming partnerships with civic, business, education, and government groups. These contacts can provide assistance and support and can foster an affiliation that reflects the unique needs of local voters.
EMG Chapter 13: Canvassing and Certifying an Election
The purpose of the canvass is to account for every ballot cast and to ensure that each valid vote is included in the official election results. The canvass enables an election official to resolve discrepancies, correct errors, and take any remedial actions necessary to ensure completeness and accuracy before certifying the election. This chapter explains how an election official creates internal elections office procedures for conducting a successful canvass of votes and a valid certification of results.
EMG Chapter 14: Communicating with the Public
Elections are in the spotlight more than ever, and voters and candidates receive information on the elections process from multiple outlets. The chapter offers suggestions regarding planning, timelines, and materials that an election official may use to effectively communicate with the public. The strategies presented here have proven successful and an election official may be able to simply tailor them for his or her community.
EMG Chapter 15: Conducting a Recount
Election officials understand that the voting process does not end on election night. A close contest can be part of an election as it is not uncommon for a handful of votes to determine the outcome of the election. A recount provides an opportunity for an election official to ensure that all the ballots cast are counted accurately and that the correct candidate or ballot issue wins. This chapter gives information on types of recounts according to state requirements, timelines for completion, training for and cost of a recount among other important issues.
EMG Chapter 16: Provisional Ballots
HAVA establishes a voter’s right to cast a fail-safe, or provisional, ballot in Federal elections. Voters cast provisional ballots for a variety of reasons, and many States have created various additional requirements for fail-safe ballots. This chapter discusses how States have developed statewide standards for processing provisional ballots including how standards direct local election officials and/or election boards to count provisional ballots in a uniform manner. This chapter will guide an election official through creating internal elections office procedures for provisional ballots from form design through final certification.
EMG Chapter 17: Technology in Elections
Voting technology has changed substantially over the years. New voting options provide accessibility, security, and privacy for the voter. This chapter aims to provide information on innovative uses for technology in the elections office and the voting process including tips on managing cost, maintenance, and replacement of technology.
EMG Chapter 18: Elections Office Administration
The elections office is often the smallest agency in local government until Election Day, when it often becomes the largest. Managing an elections office, however, can be a full-time job with some of the most complex responsibilities expected of a public servant. This chapter aims to help election officials implement the most efficient processes for managing an elections office.
EMG Chapter 19: Accessibility
Every day, election officials work to make elections more accessible to the public. More than ever before, newly accessible voting machines have facilitated independent voting for voters with disabilities. This chapter also includes information about voting in long-term care facilities with examples of ways to improve accessibility and to incorporate these good practices into all aspects of election administration.