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Glendale officials consider ballot process change

Manual recount may be done prior to results being reported to council.

July 23, 2013|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com

Audit officials are recommending that the city clerk's office speed up the time it takes to do a small manual recount of ballots after each municipal election so that the results can go through another layer of verification prior to reporting a final canvass.

Glendale has long done a manual recount of at least 1% of ballots after reporting the final canvass to the City Council, but the state law requires the count be done beforehand. Officials say it can be a difficult task to accomplish when self-imposed rules require the city's final canvass be complete within two weeks of the election.

"It is something we're going to look at and we're going to see what we can do about it," Kassakhian said by phone on Tuesday. "We've always done the manual tally afterwards and it's never been a problem."

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The audit was included in the agenda for the city's Audit Committee on Monday, but discussion will occur at a future meeting, said Commissioner Louie Sadd.

Despite the time discrepancy on the manual recounts, the audit was mostly positive. The elections count, which took place in April, followed "an established process in place to ensure appropriate handling of ballots and completion of required election forms," according to the report.

In addition to implementing new procedures to date-stamp and count vote-by-mail ballots as they're received, bilingual workers were added to bolster the staff at Elections Central in the Police Community Room, according to the report.

"I'm overall pleased with the audit and believe it reflects what many people in Glendale already know: that we are at the forefront and a leader when it comes to running open, fair and accurate elections," Kassakhian said. "We will continue to audit ourselves so we continue to run the types of elections that voters have come to expect."

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Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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