(a) The election board shall count ballots according to the following rules:
(1) A voter may mark a ballot only by filling in, making “X” marks, diagonal, horizontal, or vertical marks, solid marks, stars, circles, asterisks, checks, or plus signs that are clearly spaced in the oval opposite the name of the candidate, proposition, or question that the voter desires to designate.
(2) A failure to properly mark a ballot as to one or more candidates does not itself invalidate the entire ballot.
(3) If a voter marks fewer names than there are persons to be elected to the office, a vote shall be counted for each candidate properly marked.
(4) If a voter marks more names than there are persons to be elected to the office, the votes for candidates for that office may not be counted.
(5) The mark specified in (1) of this subsection shall be counted only if it is substantially inside the oval provided, or touching the oval so as to indicate clearly that the voter intended the particular oval to be designated.
(6) Improper marks on the ballot may not be counted and do not invalidate marks for candidates properly made.
(7) An erasure or correction invalidates only that section of the ballot in which it appears.
(8) A vote marked for the candidate for President or Vice-President of the United States is considered and counted as a vote for the election of the presidential electors.
(9) to (12) Repealed by SLA 2011, ch. 10, § 3, eff. Aug. 15, 2011 .
(b) The rules set out in this section are mandatory and there are no exceptions to them. A ballot may not be counted unless marked in compliance with these rules.
(c) Repealed by SLA 2003, ch. 113, § 24 .
(d) Write-in votes shall be counted according to the following rules:
(1) writing in the name of a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot does not invalidate a write-in vote unless the director determines, on the basis of other evidence, that the ballot was so marked for the purpose of identifying the ballot;
(2) in order to vote for a write-in candidate, the voter must write in the candidate's name in the space provided and fill in the oval opposite the candidate's name in accordance with (a)(1) of this section;
(3) a vote for a write-in candidate, other than a write-in vote for governor and lieutenant governor, shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name of the candidate, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided;
(4) if the write-in vote is for governor and lieutenant governor, the vote shall be counted if the oval is filled in and the names of the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, as they appear on the write-in declaration of candidacy, or the last names of the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, or the name of the candidate for governor, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, or the last name of the candidate for governor is written in the space provided;
(5) in counting votes for a write-in candidate, the director shall disregard any abbreviation, misspelling, or other minor variation in the form of the name of a candidate if the intention of the voter can be ascertained.
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