San Francisco Department of Elections will Randomly Select Ballots for Manual Tally on Wednesday, November 13, 11 a.m.

Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
John Arntz, Director

For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, Friday, November 8, 2019 – The Department of Elections will randomly select ballots for manual tally to verify the accuracy of the voting system.  The selection of ballots will occur on November 13, 11 a.m., in the Department’s office located in City Hall Room 48, and is open to public observation. 

The Department will broadcast the selection of ballots and post a recording of the process on

To randomly select ballots to hand tally, the Department uses 10-sided dice.  After dice are rolled, the numbers facing up are matched to numbers assigned to a list of precincts for which the Department will manually tally cards voted at a number of polling places equal to one percent of all precincts. 

Next, the Department will roll the dice to select a number of batches of vote-by-mail and other ballots that equals one percent of the batches processed.  These batches most likely include ballots from multiple precincts.  For this latter category of ballots, the numbers from the rolled dice are referenced to a list of batch numbers. 

If the selected precincts or batches do not include all of the contests voted upon in the election, the Department will continue rolling the dice to select additional precincts or batches until ballots from all contests are identified for inclusion in the tallies.

The tallies from the manual count will be compared against the results reports issued from voting equipment that tallied the cards.  The purpose of conducting the manual count and then comparing those results to vote totals tabulated by voting equipment is to verify that the equipment properly tabulated ballots.

Observing the Manual Tally Process
The manual tally of selected precincts will begin on Thursday, November 14, and will proceed during working hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., from that date until all chosen precincts are tallied.

The manual tally process will take place at the Department warehouse on Pier 31.


Department of Elections
City and County of San Francisco
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554-4375

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