Article 2. Automated Count In A Central Location of California Elections Code >> Division 15. >> Chapter 3. >> Article 2.

If paper ballots are used in conjunction with this system, counting shall be as provided in Article 5 (commencing with Section 15270) and Article 6 (commencing with Section 15290).
(a) As soon as the polls are closed, the precinct board shall, in the presence of the public do all of the following:
  (1) Seal the container used to transport voted ballots and insure that the precinct number is designated on the ballot container.
  (2) Certify, sign, and seal the several packages or envelopes as directed by the elections official.
  (3) By not less than two of their number, deliver the ballot container and packages to the elections official at the central counting place in the manner prescribed by the elections official. The ballot container and packages shall remain in their exclusive possession until delivered to the elections official.
  (b) This section also applies to ballots counted manually pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 15290).
If the ballots are to be counted at a central counting place, no fewer than two precinct board members shall, following the close of the polls, deliver the ballots, in a sealed container, to the central counting place or a designated receiving station. There may be two or more central counting places.
The vote tabulating device may be located at any place within the state approved by the elections official of the county or other political subdivision using the device. The same device may be jointly owned, borrowed, leased, or used by two or more counties, cities, or other political subdivisions to tabulate ballots cast in any election.
All proceedings at the central counting place, or counting places, if applicable, shall be open to the view of the public but no person, except one employed and designated for the purpose by the elections official or his or her authorized deputy, shall touch any ballot container. Access to the area where electronic data processing equipment is being operated may be restricted to those persons authorized by the elections official.
(a) A person may be employed to count, tally, and certify the ballots if he or she is not a candidate at the election and if he or she satisfies either of the following requirements:
  (1) Has the qualifications required for a precinct board member.
  (2) Is a deputy or employee of either of the following:
  (A) The governing board.
  (B) The elections official.
  (b) No person selected to count ballots need reside in any particular precinct.
The elections official or any deputy authorized by the elections official may excuse or dismiss any person from any counting board and enforce the order.
The elections official or authorized deputy shall segregate the persons employed to count the ballots into counting boards. These counting boards shall be deemed to be precinct boards, and are subject to all laws governing precinct boards where ballots are counted at the polling place.
(a) Each container of ballots shall be opened and its contents removed. The ballots shall be checked to ascertain if the ballots are properly grouped and shall be arranged, if necessary, so that all similar ballots from the precinct are together.
  (b) Any ballot that contains personal information, as defined in Section 14287, or is torn, bent, or mutilated shall be segregated in the manner directed by the elections official and a duplicate shall be prepared as provided in Section 15210.
Any magnetic or electronic storage medium used for the ballot tabulation program and any magnetic or electronic storage medium containing election results shall be kept in a secure location and shall be retained for six months following any local election and 22 months following any federal election or so long thereafter as any contest involving the vote at the local or federal election remains undetermined.
In preparing the voted ballots for processing, any ballot that is torn, bent, or otherwise defective shall be corrected so that every vote cast by the voter shall be counted by the automatic tabulating equipment. If necessary, a true duplicate copy of the defective ballot shall be made and substituted therefor, following the intention of the voter insofar as it can be ascertained from the defective ballot. All duplicate ballots shall be clearly labeled "duplicate," and shall bear a serial number that shall be recorded on the damaged or defective ballot.
If paper ballots are used for vote by mail voting, the canvass may be conducted in accordance with Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15000), or the elections official may have a true duplicate copy of vote by mail voter paper ballots made on punchcard ballots that shall be verified in the presence of witnesses. After verification the punchcard ballots shall be counted in the same manner as other punchcard ballots.
If voting at all precincts within a county is not conducted using the same voting system, the result as to the precincts not subject to this article shall be determined in accordance with other provisions of this code and the result of the vote at precincts subject to this article shall be determined as provided in this article. The statement of the vote in that case shall represent the consolidation of all the results and the results of the canvass of all vote by mail voter ballots.
In case of an emergency in which it becomes impossible to transport the ballots from the precinct to a central counting place, the elections official may direct that the ballots be counted at the precinct. In those cases, counting shall be conducted substantially in accordance with Article 5 (commencing with Section 15270).