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A closer look: How is your vote counted?

Houston County Elections Assistant Supervisor Andy Holland says your ballot is counted as it scans through the tabulator.

PERRY, Ga. — Thousands of Georgians have already voted, and thousands more are expected to by Election Day.

But with that, how is your vote counted once you cast your ballot?

If you voted last election with the new system, you already know how the process to cast your ballot works. You vote on a touchscreen and then get a printed ballot. 

From there, how is your vote counted? 13WMAZ spoke to Houston County's Elections Assistant Supervisor Andy Holland.

Holland says once you make your selections for each race, you get a printed ballot, showing your choices.

"The voter then has a chance to review it on the printed ballot," Holland said. 

Then, you take your copy of the ballot to the tabulator.

"The ballots are counted as the voter scans them. It's the scanner that actually tabulates the votes," Holland said. 

So, you, the voter, can watch as your vote is officially counted. 

Holland says during November general elections, like this one, Boards of Elections do audits. He says officials hand count a select group of ballots to make sure the tabulators are accurately counting the votes.

Then, there's a whole different process with counting absentee ballots. Whether you mailed it or dropped it off in the drop box, once the Board of Election receives your ballot, we check their information to make sure it matches the application to verify the voter's identity," Holland said.

Once it's verified, Holland says they store them in a secure location until it's time to open and scan them. The early scanning process begins Wednesday, October 26 where we scan it through an ICC scanning unit to be tabulated. 

That tabulator will officially count your absentee vote. 

In some cases, the tabulator can't count an absentee ballot so it falls into the court of a "vote review panel" made up of the Board of Elections and representatives from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

"If there's any ballot that has an overvote or stray mark or something the scanner can't make a determination on. We'll go to the voter review board and they'll determine the voter's intent," Holland said.

Holland says there are even more checks and balances in the new election system, ensuring that each vote is counted accurately.

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