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National Issues

EAC Issues Four Quick Start Management Guides PDF  | Print |  Email
By U.S. Election Assistance Commission   
October 06, 2008
Topics: Serving Voters in Long Term Care Facilities, Provisional Ballots, Recounts and Canvassing and Certifying an Election

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has issued four new Quick Start Management Guides for election administrators that provide guidance on serving voters in long term care facilities, conducting a recount, provisional ballots and canvassing and certifying an election. The Quick Start Management Guides are available at

These Quick Start guides are developed in partnership with election officials from around the country, and are part of a series of EAC resources aimed at promoting the administration of fair, accurate, transparent and efficient elections.
Serving Voters in Long Term Care Facilities

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 63 percent of adults aged 65 and older voted in the 2006 general election. In addition, the Congressional Research Service has reported that "two-thirds of the people receiving long term care are over 65, an age group expected to double by 2030." The Quick Start Guide on Elderly and Disabled Voters in Long Term Care Facilities provides information about registration and voting processes for these voters, as well as recommendations to protect the integrity of the voting process. The guide also includes a collection of additional resources and information about providing services to elderly and disabled voters.

Provisional Ballots

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 establishes the right for a voter to cast a provisional ballot if their name is not listed on the registration list or the voter’s eligibility is challenged by an election official. The Quick Start Managment Guide on Provisional Ballots provides recommendations for the management of these ballots. It is important to note that provisional ballot laws and rules vary by state. For instance, in some states a provisional ballot must be cast in the correct precinct or it may not be counted. One of the key recommendations is an extensive public education effort to make sure voters understand how provisional voting works in their state. Other recommendations include methods for processing, counting and reporting provisional ballots.


A recount is a retabulation of the votes cast in an election, and it is conducted for a particular race or measure to confirm the result of the vote canvass. Each state has its own laws regarding what may trigger a recount. The Quick Start Management Guide on Conducting a Recount provides guidance on how to manage the process by organizing efforts into four stages: pre-election planning, post-election preparation, recount phase and reporting phase.

Canvassing and Certifying an Election

Even though election results are provided throughout the nation on election night, these are not the final results. The outcome of an election is not official until the canvass is completed, sometimes several weeks after Election Day. The purpose of the canvass is to account for every ballot cast and ensure that every valid vote cast is included in the election totals. The Quick Start Management Guide on Canvassing and Certifying Elections provides information on how to effectively conduct all phases of canvassing, as well as the final stage -- certification of the election.

The EAC provides Quick Start Management Guides and other studies and resources to fulfill its duty under HAVA to perform research and engage in other activities to promote the effective administration of federal elections. All materials in the Quick Start series are available here on the EAC’s Web site. To request hard copies, contact Laiza Otero by sending an email to or calling (866) 747-1471.
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