163-182.5. Canvassing votes.

(a) The Canvass. - As used in this Article, the term "canvass" means the entire process of determining that the votes have been counted and tabulated correctly, culminating in the authentication of the official election results. The board of elections conducting a canvass has authority to send for papers and persons and to examine them and pass upon the legality of disputed ballots.

(b) Canvassing by County Board of Elections. - The county board of elections shall meet at 11:00 A.M. on the tenth day after every election held on the same day as a general election in November of the even-numbered year, and at 11:00 A.M. on the seventh day after every other election, to complete the canvass of votes cast and to authenticate the count in every ballot item in the county by determining that the votes have been counted and tabulated correctly. If, despite due diligence by election officials, the initial counting of all the votes has not been completed by that time, the county board may hold the canvass meeting a reasonable time thereafter. The canvass meeting shall be at the county board of elections office, unless the county board, by unanimous vote of all its members, designates another site within the county. The county board shall examine the returns from precincts, from absentee official ballots, from the sample hand-to-eye paper ballot counts, and from provisional official ballots and shall conduct the canvass.

(c) Canvassing by State Board of Elections. - After each general election, the State Board of Elections shall meet at 11:00 A.M. on the Tuesday three weeks after election day to complete the canvass of votes cast in all ballot items within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections and to authenticate the count in every ballot item in the county by determining that the votes have been counted and tabulated correctly. After each primary, the State Board shall fix the date of its canvass meeting. If, by the time of its scheduled canvass meeting, the State Board has not received the county canvasses, the State Board may adjourn for not more than 10 days to secure the missing abstracts. In obtaining them, the State Board is authorized to secure the originals or copies from the appropriate clerks of superior court or county boards of elections, at the expense of the counties. (2001-398, s. 3; 2003-278, s. 10(a); 2005-323, s. 5(c); 2005-428, s. 11(a).)