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View Text Version - The Life of a Vote by Mail Ballot


  • Vote-by-Mail ballots are mailed to registered voters in Orange County 29 days before an election.
  • Undeliverable ballots will be returned to the ROV. Voters that do not receive their ballot may request a replacement at
  • Voters vote their ballot, place in return envelope, and sign.
  • Ballots are returned by mail, to an official ballot drop box, or to a Vote Center located throughout Orange County.
  • Ballots returned at ballot drop boxes, Vote Centers, and by mail are collected by two-person teams, using strict tracking and chain of custody procedures.
  • Ballots are stored in a secure location when returned to the Registrar of Voters' office.
  • Returned ballot envelopes are scanned for signature verification and election participation history is recorded.
  • Signature comparison is conducted for every returned ballot.
  • If the signature does not compare, the voter is notified and may resolve the discrepancy by returning a signature verification statement.
  • Once verified, the ballot is separated from its envelope and sorted.
  • Ballots are unfolded, flattened, and prepared for counting.
  • Ballots that are damaged or marked improperly and unable to go through the scanning process, will be duplicated.
  • Ballots are scanned and reviewed for accuracy before being counted.
  • In a secure room with limited physical access, votes are tallied on an "air-gapped" system.
  • Audits and tests, including hand counts of randomly selected ballots, are performed before certifying the election to confirm the accuracy of the voting system results.