Vote counting procedures should be verifiable and votes should be preserved for review.
- The counting process shall accurately count the votes. The counting of votes shall be reproducible.
- The audit system shall be designed and implemented as part of the e-voting system. Audit facilities shall be present on different levels of the system: logical, technical and application.
- [States should] ensure transparency of the electoral process, particularly in: 8.2.3. the conduct of the ballot: it is advisable to ensure that polling stations are appropriately designed, that transparent ballot boxes are used, that voting booths are available, that counting takes place in public and that distance voting is well regulated.
- 107. The audit system shall provide the ability to cross-check and verify the correct operation of the e-voting system and the accuracy of the result, to detect fraud and to prove that all counted votes are authentic and that all votes have been counted. 108. The audit system shall provide the ability to verify that an e-election or e-referendum has complied with the applicable legal provisions, the aim being to verify that the results are an accurate representation of the authentic votes.
- There shall be the possibility for a recount. Other features of the e-voting system that may influence the correctness of the result shall be verifiable.
- In assessing the counting processes...evaluation should be based upon the degree to which: (2) ballots that are ruled invalid (spoiled, void or null) or irregular (sometimes called challenged or tendered) are properly identified and, ideally, preserved for review.
- The legal framework should ensure, among other things, that: ...Ballots are opened in a manner that permits verification of their validity or ruling about invalidity.
- Candidates and political parties have the right to challenge the validity of election results.
- Voted ballots and counting sheets (protocols) should be stored in a secure place, at least for a period of time sufficient for the final resolution of all election appeals.
- Procedures for counting should be known to those election officials, party agents, observers and any other authorized persons who are permitted to be present during the count.
- The relevant regulations should stipulate certain practical precautions as regards equipment. For example, the record of the proceedings should be completed in ballpoint pen rather than pencil, as text written in pencil can be erased.
- There should be opportunities to seek a remedy in the event of objections against decisions or activities of the counting staff.
- [C]ounting must be transparent. Observers, candidates' representatives and the media must be allowed to be present. These persons must also have access to the records.
- Counting should be open to official observation by concerned parties. All issued, unissued and damaged ballot papers must be systematically accounted for. The processes for counting votes, verification, reporting of results and retention of official materials must be secure and fair. Re-count procedures should be available in case of questionable results. Finally, alternative, independent verification procedures, such as parallel vote tabulation, can be a valuable measure contributing to public confidence in, and acceptance of, the outcome of polling.
- There must be the possibility for meaningful verification of ballots cast electronically, such as that provided by a manual recount or end-to-end verifiability. (...) The verification mechanism must also fully guarantee the integrity of the results without compromising the secrecy of the vote.
- The tabulation of results should be verifiable and transparent at all levels of the election administration.
- The reliability of the count, double counting and storing of ballots for later verification are to be observed.
- The legal framework should provide, in clear and objective language, the procedures for transferring the protocol results of counting, ballots, and election materials from lower election commissions to intermediate and higher election commissions for tabulation and safekeeping.
- In practice, it appears that the time needed to count the votes depends on the efficiency of the presiding officer of the polling station. These times can vary markedly, which is why a simple tried and tested procedure should be set out in the legislation or permanent regulations which appear in the training manual for polling station officials.