(a) The director may adopt regulations prescribing the manner in which the precinct ballot count is accomplished so as to ensure accuracy in the count and to expedite the process. The election board shall account for all ballots by completing a ballot statement containing (1) the number of official ballots received; (2) the number of official ballots voted; (3) the number of official ballots spoiled; (4) the number of official ballots unused and either destroyed or returned for destruction to the elections supervisor or the election supervisor's designee. The board shall count the number of questioned ballots and compare that number to the number of questioned voters in the register. Discrepancies shall be noted and the numbers included in the certificate prescribed by AS 15.15.370 . The election board, in hand-count precincts, shall count the ballots in a manner that allows watchers to see the ballots when opened and read. A person handling the ballot after it has been taken from the ballot box and before it is placed in the envelope for mailing may not have a marking device in hand or remove a ballot from the immediate vicinity of the polls.
(b) Ballots may not be counted before 8:00 p.m., local time, on the day of the election.
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