DRAFT CSC, Title 13.  Elections
 
CHAPTER 7
Tabulation

1601.  Delivery of ballots to election center.
1602.  Vote tabulating device; Mode of tallying.
1603.  Tabulating at precincts.
1604.  Imperfectly marked ballots not void.
1605.  Defective ballots.
1606.  Ballots not rejected for technical error.
1607.  Only invalid portions rejected.
1608.  Write-in votes.
1609.  Unauthorized marks on ballot.
1610.  Adding to or withdrawal of ballots from box.
1611.  Adding ballots during counting.
1612.  Taking or destroying ballots.
1613.  Interference with Board, Commission or voters.
1614.  Removing or defacing results posted.
1615.  Sealing counted ballots.
1616.  Certification of election.
1617.  Tabulation and publication of election results.
1618.  Returns open to public inspection.
1619.  Election center opens until tabulation complete.
1620.  Certificates of election.
1621.  Review of ballots.
1622.  Entry of results on record.
1623.  Preservation of ballots.

      1601.  Delivery of ballots to election center.
     The ballots with the roster and all endorsements and rejected ballots shall be placed in a box with the precinct clearly shown thereon and delivered to the election center for tabulation and publication.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 100.

Cross-reference: The constitutional provisions on suffrage and elections are found in Article XII of the Chuuk State Constitution which reads as follows:

Article XII
SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS

Section 1.  A general election shall be held every 2 years on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in March. If the general election date for the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia is changed from March, or reasons such as natural disaster preclude the holding of an election on the date set, the election shall be held as prescribed by statute.
Section 2.  A citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia who is a resident of the State of Chuuk and has attained the age of 18 may vote in the State. Voting shall be secret.
Section 3.  The Legislature shall prescribe by statute a minimum period of voter residency; disqualifications for conviction of crime, mental incompetence, or insanity; and for the protection of voting in the State of Chuuk. Except as so provided, no resident entitled to vote may be denied the privilege to vote or be interfered with in voting.
Section 4.  There shall be an independent Election Commission vested with powers, duties, and responsibilities, as prescribed by statute, for the administration of elections in the State of Chuuk, including voter registration and the conduct and certification of elections.

      1602.  Vote tabulating device; Mode of tallying.
     The Commission may appoint such persons as may be necessary for the manual tabulation of ballots and/or for the operation of the vote tabulating device and to keep watch on such tabulation for any possible illegal vote or any error or omission on the part of the persons tabulating the ballots or operating the vote tabulating device.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 101.

      1603.  Tabulating at precincts.
     Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Chuuk State Election Commission may authorize ballots to be tabulated at the precincts by the precinct boards and require results thereof to be reported to the Election Center in person or by any reliable means of communication available.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 102, modified.

      1604.  Imperfectly marked ballots not void.
     At any election, any ballot which is not marked as provided by law shall be void, but the ballot shall be preserved.  Two (2) or more markings in one (1) voting square or a mark made partly within a voting square or space does not make a ballot void.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 103.

      1605.  Defective ballots.
      If a ballot is torn, bent, mutilated or otherwise defective so that it cannot be so tabulated by vote tabulating machine, the Commission may cause a duplicate to be punched, slotted or otherwise marked in the presence of witnesses.  Both the new ballot and the defective ballot shall be marked with a serial number and the new ballot shall bear the words "duplicate -- serial number ______________". The ballot shall be counted.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 104.

      1606.  Ballot not rejected for technical error.
     At any election a ballot shall not be rejected for any technical error, which does not render it impossible to determine the voter's choice, even though the ballot is somewhat spoiled or defected.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 105.

      1607.  Only invalid portions rejected.
     If a voter indicates either:

     (a) (1)  by placing his marks in the voting squares adjacent to the names of any candidates;

     (b) (2)  by writing the names of persons for an office in the blank spaces;

     (c) (3)  by a combination of both, the choice of more than there are candidates to be elected or certified for any office, or if for any reason it is impossible to determine his choice for any office, his ballot shall not be counted for the office, but the rest of his ballot, if properly marked, shall be counted.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 106, modified.

      1608.  Write-in votes.
      Write-in voting or voting for an independent candidate is prohibited in all state elections in Chuuk.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 107.

      1609.  Unauthorized marks on ballot.
     No mark upon a ballot, which is unauthorized by this Act Title shall invalidate a ballot, unless it appears that the mark was placed there by the voter for the purpose of identifying the ballot.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 108.

      1610.  Adding to or withdrawal of ballots from box.
     Every person who changes any ballot after it has been deposited in the ballot box, or adds, or subtracts or attempts to add or subtract any ballot to or from those legally polled at any election, by fraudulent introduction into or withdrawal form a box of ballots either before or after the ballots have been counted shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than one 1 year or fined not less than $1,000.00, or both.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 109.

      1611.  Adding ballots during counting.
     Every person who adds to, or mixes with or attempts to add to or mix with, the ballots lawfully polled, any other ballots with intent to change the result of an election shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than one 1 year or fined not less than $1,000.00, or both.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 110.

      1612.  Taking or destroying ballots.
     Every person who knowingly carries away or destroys, or attempts to carry away or destroy, any poll list or ballot, or ballot box for the purpose of preventing, affecting the result of or invalidating any election, or who willfully obtains, mutilates, or destroys any election return, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than one year or fined not less than $1,000.00, or both.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 111.

      1613.  Interference with Board, Commission or voters.
     Every person who in any manner so willfully interferes with the Commission or the precinct board or any members thereof, in holding an election or conducting a canvass, or with the voters lawfully exercising their right of voting at an election, including implying, telling, or forcing a voter to vote openly, as to prevent or attempt to prevent the election or canvas form being fairly held and lawfully conducted, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than one 1 year or fined not less than $1,000.00, or both.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 112.

      1614.  Removing or defacing results posted.
     Every person who without authorization removes or defaces any posted copy of the result of votes cast shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not more than six 6 months or fined not more than $100.00, or both.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 113.

      1615.  Sealing counted ballots.
     As soon as the names marked on the ballots validly voted are tabulated, such ballots shall not thereafter be examined by any person, except upon a recount as provide in this Act Title, but shall, as soon as all of the votes in the precinct are tabulated, be carefully sealed in a strong envelope with the name of the precinct thereon and a majority of the members of the Election Commission shall sign their names across the seal.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 114.

      1616.  Certification of election.
     As soon as all the votes for such precinct are counted and the ballots sealed, the Election Commission shall certify the results of the election in that precinct. The final certification shall be signed by a majority of the Commission.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 115.

      1617.  Tabulation and publication of election results.
     Once the Commission begins the vote tabulation for a region the Commission shall tabulate the votes for all available precincts of such region before beginning the vote tabulation for another region.  Upon tabulating of each of the precinct votes, the Commission shall tabulate or cause to be tabulated the cumulative results, including the total of election results for each nominee, and make these results known to the public.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 116.

      1618.  Returns open to public inspection.
     Immediately upon completion of the tabulation by the Commission of all of the ballots from all of the precincts, the overall election results shall be printed, disseminated, and opened for public inspection.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 117.

      1619.  Election center opens until tabulation completed.
     The Commission shall, on the day of the closing of the polls, keep the election return center open for the tabulating of election results, until each and every ballot has been tabulated and the results thereof made public.  Election results in the outer islands shall be relayed by radio, or any other available communication means, to the election return center and may, after the ballot boxes are received at the election return center, be counted as the Commission deems necessary.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 118.

      1620.  Certificates of election.
     Immediately after declaring the results of any election, the Commission shall make or cause to be made . certificates of election. for every person elected to office.  The form of such certificates shall be prescribed in the Election Manual. The Commission shall cause to be placed in the hands of the elected person the original of such certificate which shall constitute evidence of that person. s right of office.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 119.

      1621.  Review of ballots.
     The Commission shall not review any ballots already tabulated, and certified except as permitted on a recount which shall be conducted by the Commission only upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
 
Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 120.

      1622.  Entry of results on record.
     Immediately upon completion of the tabulation of all ballots, the Commission shall enter on its record a statement of the result, which shall show:

     (a) (1)  The total number of  votes cast in the state;

     (b) (2)  The names of the persons voted for;

     (c) (3)  For what office each person was voted for; and

     (d) (4)  The number of votes given each person by the entire State, or Region, or District, or Municipality as the case may be.  No declaration of the result may be withheld on account of any defect or informality if it can with reasonable certainty be ascertained by the Commission what office is intended and who is elected to the office.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 121, modified.

      1623.  Preservation of ballots.
     The Commission shall be responsible for the preservation of all the ballots cast and all rosters and certificates delivered to it by the precinct boards for a period of two 2 years after the date of the election.  The Commission shall be required to produce such ballots upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction, and shall obtain a receipt for any release from its custody.

Source:  CSL 3-95-26, 122.