Q The County has purchased scanners and will be using them for the August elections. These machines will scan and record the votes cast in each primary and deposit all the ballots in the same secure ballot bin. One party wants the ballot bins opened on election night, the ballots separated by party, and the party to have possession and control of their own ballots. The other party disagrees. Is there a requirement that the secure ballot bins be opened, and what is the election commissionís role in this dispute?

A There is no requirement that party ballots be separated at the end of primary election night. If the election commission and the party executive committee do not resolve the matter and enter into a contract pursuant to Section 23-15-266, the party will have to conduct its own primary. If the matter is not resolved and the executive committee conducts its own primary, the committee would not have the authority to access the scanned and counted ballots after voting has concluded and the polls closed for the purpose of separating the ballots by party. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Smythe, June 21, 2019)