DISCLAIMER: Ballot tabulation does not occur every day or at all hours. If there is no activity in the ballot tabulation area, please check back another time or day.
All ballot tabulation in Sacramento County is completed in this secured Ballot Counting Room, under 24 hour video monitoring. Ballot counting, by law, has to be conducted on a state certified voting system (Election Code 19202). Sacramento County currently utilizes the
Dominion Voting System. All tabulators are connected to a server, which also requires certification, that is not connected to the internet (Election Code 19205). This 24/7 livestream will constantly display all tested and approved ballot tabulators, and the server, until the certification of the election is completed.
After mail ballots and in-person voted ballots complete the verification process, they all get sent to this room to capture the voter's choices. The individual tabulators do not compile vote totals, as those are tallied by a tabulation computer, as seen in the top right-hand corner of the video, next to the server. Ballots are not tallied until after 8:00pm on Election Night, with subsequent updates throughout the certification period.
Ballot tabulation is one of the last steps after the ballot has been deemed eligible to be counted. At this point, the ballot has been separated from anything that ties it to a particular voter, so there is no way to link a voted ballot back to any voter (Election Code 2300). All the verification and proper Chain of Custody steps must take place prior to reaching the Ballot Counting Room to ensure only eligible ballots are counted. The verification process takes longer than the tabulation, so sometimes election staff are waiting for the verified ballots to enter the room.
Ballots are already sorted by the voting precinct or Vote Center location at this time. Elections staff take the sorted ballots and scan them together in batches. After each batch is scanned, a batch report prints out detailing how many ballots were scanned in that batch, including the date and time. The report is placed in the clear ballot bag and sealed with the voted ballots inside, using a large label. Staff completes required information on the label, which include number of ballots inside, the voting precinct or Vote Center location, name of the staff that scanned the batch, date, and scanner number. This is used for our auditing and reconciling procedures during the certification period, such as the hand count audit on randomly selected precincts. Each ballot tabulator requires at least one batch to be hand counted.
Elections staff are only allowed to use red pens around the voted ballots. The scanners cannot read the color red, which is why the ovals on the ballot are red. This helps the scanners see voter marks more clearly. Elections Staff use red pens in all rooms where ballots are being processed as an added security measure. Any marks made to a ballot with a red pen are unreadable by the tabulators.
If you have any questions or concerns about what you see on the video, please call the elections office immediately at (800) 762-8019. For more information about tabulation and security, visit our
Election Security page. For the number of ballots left to count and our next scheduled reporting update, visit our
What's Left to Count? page.