Although the intricacies of the method differ state by state, it usually includes a small panel of individuals reviewing a ballot to decide both the voter’s intent or whether or not the ballot will be counted in any respect primarily based on whether or not the voter was eligible to forged it.

“The entire level of this course of is to cope with these ballots the place it is unsure both whether or not the particular person is eligible to vote or how that particular person has made a alternative,” stated Rick Hasen, a MeSlop contributor and election regulation professional on the College of California, Irvine.

The method could possibly be used within the counting of provisional ballots, that are forged when there is a query about a voter’s eligibility, or to rely ballots that, for instance, may need gotten “bodily mangled within the technique of attempting to put them by way of a scanning machine,” in accordance to Hasen.

“When these sorts of garden-variety issues come up, election boards or different our bodies have to determine how to deal with these ballots,” he stated.

Hasen confused that the method is routine and isn’t uncommon for this election,” however that “we care about it now due to the prospect of an in depth election.”

The method is underway in plenty of the battleground states, together with Georgia and North Carolina, two locations the place President Donald Trump and former vice chairman Joe Biden are locked in an in depth race. However Hasen stated that though ballots in these states are being adjudicated, it is unlikely that the method will play an outsized position within the general vote rely in these states.

“This course of goes to go on in Georgia, however persons are solely going to care about it if the election is so shut {that a} ballot-by-ballot examination may make a distinction within the final result,” he stated.

The adjudication course of differs relying on the state and county. Within the State Farm Area in Atlanta, Georgia, for instance, a panel comprised of a Republican, a Democrat and an impartial look out for errors on ballots.

However within the neighboring DeKalb County, teams of 4 adjudicators work collectively — one Republican, one Democrat, two independents — to vote on whether or not a ballot is OK, and that its intent will be ascertained. The vote is often unanimous but when it is 2-2, they name an election supervisor within the room to break the tie, although that is hardly ever a difficulty.

In North Carolina, provisional ballots are adjudicated to decide whether or not the voter was eligible to forged the ballot.

“Based mostly on the analysis, county board of elections members make closing determinations about voter eligibility. Election outcomes will not be finalized till all provisional ballots which can be eligible are counted,” in accordance to the state’s Board of Elections web site.
And in Nevada, one other carefully watched battleground state, a “Details vs. Myths” sheet revealed by the secretary of state’s workplace stated mailed ballots unable to be learn by an digital scanner are “despatched to an adjudication or duplication crew, each of that are overseen by a bipartisan election board.”

MeSlop’s Aditi Sangal contributed to this report.