County Canvassing Board

The Canvassing Board is a group of local elected officials who oversee important parts of the election. This ensures that critical decisions about the election are made by a group rather than by a single person. The Canvassing Board is its own governing body. It is separate from either the Supervisor of Elections Office or the Board of County Commissioners. The Leon County Supervisor of Elections Office supplies administrative and clerical support to the Canvassing Board.


Who Serves on the Canvassing Board?

Per Florida law, the Canvassing Board is composed of local elected officials who are appointed to serve on the Board:

  • County Supervisor of Elections
  • County Court Judge
  • Chair of the Board of County Commissioners
  • Alternate County Court Judge/li>
  • Alternate County Commissioner

The Supervisor of Elections, County Court Judge, and Chair of the Board of County Commissioners normally make up the Canvassing Board. If a member of the Board cannot attend a meeting, one of the alternate members attends instead.

Members cannot serve on the Board for an election if they are a candidate who has opposition in the election being canvassed or are an active participant in a campaign. If this happens, a substitute member replaces them for that election. Per Division of Election's Advisory Opinion DE 09-07, an "active participant" means that a canvassing board member undertakes an effort intentionally to demonstrate or generate public support of a candidate beyond merely making a campaign contribution. The following activities would make a canvassing board member an "active participant" in the candidate's campaign or candidacy: Being a member of an election or re-election committee for a candidate, public endorsement with or without financial support of a candidate; holding campaign signs, wearing a campaign tee-shirt, or other public display of support for a candidate; signing an endorsement card for a candidate; attending a candidate's campaign fundraiser; or chairing or co-chairing an ongoing election campaign or fundraiser for a candidate. However, the mere giving of a campaign contribution would not make a canvassing board member an "active participant."


Canvassing Board Members

The membership of the 2024 canvassing board is:

  • The Honorable Augustus D. Aikens, Jr, County Judge and Chair of the Canvassing Board
  • The Honorable Nick Maddox, County Commissioner
  • The Honorable Mark S. Earley, Supervisor of Elections
  • The Honorable Nina Ashenafi-Richardson, County Judge (Alternate)
  • Mary Ann Lindley, former County Commissioner and Qualified Elector (Alternate)

What Does the Canvassing Board Do?

The Canvassing Board has many responsibilities:

  • Certifies Logic and Accuracy testing on voting equipment. The Logic and Accuracy process is a public test of the voting and audit machines used to count ballots. The test ensures that voting equipment is working correctly.
  • Reviews and accepts signatures on Vote-by-Mail ballot envelopes. The Board reviews signatures on Vote-by-Mail ballot envelopes to confirm that the signature on the envelope matches the signature in the voter registration system. Once the review is complete, election workers open the envelopes and use the voting equipment to count the votes on the ballots.
  • Reviews damaged and poorly marked ballots. Sometimes ballots get damaged in the mail, or voters mark their ballots in a way that the voting equipment cannot determine the intent of the voter. The Board oversees re-creating these ballots so that every vote is counted.
  • Reviews provisional ballots. The provisional ballot is a back-up voting option used if a voter’s eligibility to vote is uncertain. After Election Day, the Board reviews each provisional ballot envelope and related documentation and decides if it should be opened and counted.
  • Certifies results of the election. The Board releases several sets of results over the course of the election. Preliminary results are released on election night, but the results will not be complete for several days. The Board uses this time to review provisional ballots, count ballots from military and overseas voters, and conduct a recount, if required. The final set of results is the official version which includes all valid votes in the county.
  • Conducts post-election audit. After every election, the Board audits the results. Ballots are scanned into the audit system daily after they are counted so that the audit process can happen very soon after the Board approves the official election results. In most Florida counties, the audit examines a sample of ballots. Here in Leon County, the Board uses a second certified system to perform a 100% audit of every election. We double check every vote, on every ballot, from every voter to make sure that the results are 100% accurate. Essentially, we perform a 100% recount of every election using a completely separate system to make certain that every paper ballot has been counted accurately.
  • Conducts recounts. A recount does not mean that there was a problem or suspected fraud in an election. Instead, Florida law automatically requires that we hold a recount whenever the election results are very close. The recount process ensures that during a close election everyone can be confident that their vote was counted properly, and the results are accurate. The outcome of the recount is part of the official election results. Recounts are open to the public. There are two types of recounts: a machine recount and a manual recount.
    • Machine Recount If the unofficial results show that a race was decided by ½% or less, the Board oversees a recount of the ballots by machine. However, here in Leon County we recount every race, on every ballot, in every election to always verify the accuracy of the machine count.
    • Manual Recount.If the results of the machine recount show that that a race was decided by ¼% or less, the Board moves on to a manual recount. In the manual recount, the Board reviews all the ballots where the voting machines found either no votes or too many votes in a race. This makes certain that we count even poorly marked votes and that nothing has been missed.

When Does the Canvassing Board Meet?

At the beginning of each election cycle, the Canvassing Board holds an organizational meeting. This takes place early in each even-numbered year. Then, during each election, the Board holds a series of meetings before, on, and after each Election Day. Once available, you can view the activity schedules below. They include dates for Logic and Accuracy tests, Canvassing Board meetings, processing of Vote-by-Mail ballots, scanning of ballots into the audit system, post-election audits, and a tentative schedule for conducting recounts, if needed. Members of the public, representatives for candidates or political parties, and members of the media are welcome to observe these activities.

2024 Schedules

These public notices contain the canvassing board meeting schedule for each election in 2024.

Public Inspection of Election Materials

Per 101.572(1), F.S., unopened Vote-by-Mail ballot certificate envelopes are available for public inspection before each canvassing board meeting. These public inspection periods generally take place in the hours before each meeting of the Canvassing Board. Inspection periods end at the scheduled time so that staff and the Board can continue its primary function of fair, accurate, and timely counting of ballots.

Per 101.572(2), F.S., Candidate, party, and political committee representatives can request to inspect corresponding voter signatures during one of the public inspection periods. Individuals who wish to inspect corresponding voter signatures must make a written request by completing a request form. We must receive written requests no later than noon on the day before the inspection period will occur. Observers can submit requests by email to Vote@LeonVotes.gov, in person, or by mail. If requested, inspection periods will generally occur before each Board meeting.

Resources

Inspection Periods for the 2024 Presidential Preference Primary Election

Inspection Period Status
Monday, March 11, 1 p.m.  Not yet requested 
Thursday, March 14, 1 p.m. Not yet requested 
Saturday, March 16, 8: 45 a.m. Not yet requested
Monday, March 18, 8:45 a.m. Not yet requested 
Tuesday, March 19, 8:45 a.m. Not yet requested 
Tuesday, March 19, 3 p.m.   Not yet requested 
Tuesday, March 19, 6:30 p.m.  Not yet requested 
Friday, March 22, Noon Not yet requested 
Friday, March 30, 8:45 a.m. Not yet requested 
Leon County Seal

Mark S. Earley
Leon County Supervisor of Elections

OFFICE ADDRESS: 2990-1 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee FL 32301
MAILING ADDRESS: Leon County Supervisor of Elections Office P.O Box 7357, Tallahassee FL 32314-7357
P: (850) 606-8683 | F: (850) 606-8601 | E: Vote@leonvotes.gov | Hours: M - F: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

PLEASE NOTE: Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing. Florida Statute 668.6076.