13-15-207. Counting board procedures. (1) After ballots have been prepared pursuant to 13-15-201, the election administrator may arrange for the vote count to begin prior to the close of the polls, or immediately upon the closure of the polls, in the manner prescribed in this section.
(2) (a) When a count is conducted after the polls have closed, the counting board shall meet at a place designated by the election administrator.
(b) The board must be sequestered until the count is complete.
(c) The board shall continue counting until the votes cast for all candidates and issues are counted.
(d) Votes must be counted as prescribed in 13-15-206.
(3) When votes are counted prior to the close of the polls:
(a) the election administrator shall make provisions for the delivery of voted ballots to the counting center at any time prior to the closing of the polls;
(b) the board must be sequestered in a room separate from the room where ballots are being cast;
(c) anyone observing the count must be sequestered with the board until the polls close;
(d) the ballots may be processed and counted as they are received;
(e) an election judge or other individual having access to early count results may not disclose that information to the public while the polls are open; and
(f) votes must be counted as prescribed in 13-15-206.
(4) (a) When votes are being counted prior to the close of the polls, in addition to the official oath taken and subscribed to by the election judges, the members of the counting board shall complete and sign the following affirmation: "I, _____, will not discuss the results of the early counting of votes while the polls are open."
(b) The chief election judge shall witness and sign the affirmation in subsection (4)(a).
History: En. Sec. 150, Ch. 571, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 52, Ch. 414, L. 2003; Sec. 13-15-103, MCA 2001; redes. 13-15-207 by Code Commissioner, 2003.