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204C.19 Counting votes; penalty.

Subdivision 1. Procedure. When the hours for voting have ended and all voting has concluded, the election judges shall immediately count the votes cast at the election. The count shall be held at the polling place and shall be public. It shall be continued without intermission until it is completed and the results are declared, except that the election judges may recess for meals or other necessary purposes. During the count no one except the election judges shall handle the ballots. Any other individual who touches or interferes with ballots during the counting or any election judge who permits such touching or interference is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Subd. 2. Ballots; order of counting. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, the ballot boxes shall be opened, the votes counted, and the total declared one box at a time in the following order: the white box, the pink box, the canary box, the light green box, the blue box, the buff box, the goldenrod box, the gray box, and then the other kinds of ballots voted at the election. If enough election judges are available to provide counting teams of four or more election judges for each box, more than one box may be opened and counted at the same time. The election judges on each counting team shall be evenly divided between the major political parties. The numbers entered on the summary sheet shall not be considered final until the ballots in all the boxes have been counted and corrections have been made if ballots have been deposited in the wrong boxes.

Subd. 3. Premature disclosure of count results. No count results from any precinct shall be disclosed by any election judge or other individual until all count results from that precinct are available, nor shall the public media disclose any count results from any precinct before the time when voting is scheduled to end in the state.

HIST: 1981 c 29 art 5 s 19; 1987 c 266 art 1 s 38; 1991 c 227 s 17