After the Voting Ends: The Steps to Complete an Election

10/28/2020

Alternative Text

An election isn’t over when the polls close. It’s over when election administrators complete their postelection activities and the election results are certified. As with everything else related to elections, state law governs these postelection processes—and there are 51 models. (The states plus Washington, D.C.).

This webpage reviews the major postelection processes. Select one of the headings below the map to learn more.

Map: Deadline for Local Election Officials to Certify Results

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 Up to 7 days

8-14 days

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22+ days

DC PR MP GU AS VI AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY

 

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Overview

The close of the polls is not the end of an election. Depending on state law, absentee ballots are still arriving—and still being counted—for days after Election Day. In 2020 there are even more states that will allow ballots to be counted after Election Day, based on statutory changes, court rulings and an increase in the number of provisional ballots cast.

While the processing of absentee/mail ballots begins before Election Day in many states, the focus of this webpage is on activities that happen after the election.

For information on events leading up to the election, NCSL has other resources:

For information on events relating directly to Election Day or more broadly to in-person voting, NCSL has more resources:

As for after Election Day, ballot counting comes first. This may take place at the polling place or at a central location. While unofficial results may be released as they become available, official election results come much later.

Once regular ballots are accounted for, local election officials process provisional ballots--ballots cast in-person when there was doubt about the voter’s identity or eligibility to vote--and “canvass” the election. In short, they prepare results and reports for the state. The state then canvasses the election as well. See the section below, Canvass Deadlines.

After the state canvass is completed, a statewide entity certifies the results. It is this certification that provides the needed authority for swearing in newly elected officeholders. Sometimes there is a local certification as well, especially for local races. See the section below, Certification Deadlines.

A “contested election” does not mean a highly competitive race; instead, it means a race in which a candidate contests the outcome on legal grounds. Some states are explicit on what constitutes a contested election and when a contest can be initiated. See the section below, Contested Elections.

Some states are explicit that any paper ballots that cannot be clearly interpreted are to be counted, so long as the voter’s intent can be discerned. Without a “voter intent” law, imperfect ballots cannot be counted at all, and might be used as a reason to contest an election. See the section below, Voter Intent.

Other NCSL resources on postelection processes include:

For more information, contact elections-info@ncsl.org.

Canvass Deadlines

According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a canvass refers to the “compilation of election returns and validation of the outcome [of the election] that forms the basis of the official results by political subdivision.” In lay terms, the canvass is the counting of election returns at the local or state level.

State law usually defines in statute when the canvass must be completed.

Local canvass dates range from the day after the election in Alaska to 28 days after the election for presidential electors or 30 days after the election for all other offices in California.

State canvass dates range from the Friday after the election in Oklahoma, as long as no contest has been filed, to the second Tuesday in December in Missouri for offices other than presidential electors.

This table provides the statutory rule that determines local and state canvass dates. Some states have different deadlines for certifying presidential electors than other offices, as in the California example above. When that is the case, the table notes the difference.

In any given year, the calendar date can shift based on weekends and holidays. For the calendar date, please see each state’s website. A table of state election websites is available in the Resources tab.

In summary:

County/Local Deadlines

  • Counties must canvass results within one week after election day in 15 states: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming. In Pennsylvania, these results are unofficial and are not made official until 10 days after the election, in order to permit for requests for recounts or other challenges to the results to be filed.
  • Counties must certify results either during or no later than the second week following election day in 21 states: Alabama, Arkansas (presidential electors only), Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Both Maryland and Montana permit the canvass deadline to be pushed back if the canvass is not complete by the specified date.
  • Counties must certify results either during or no later than the third week following election day in 10 states: Arizona, Arkansas (all other offices), Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington.
  • Counties in four states must certify results to the state either during or no later than the fourth week following election day or later: California, Colorado, New York and West Virginia.
  • Rhode Island does not specify dates for completing the canvass in its statutes.

State Deadlines

  • Twenty-two states have statutory language such as “not later than,” “by,” “before” or “within” that specifies the deadline by which state canvasses and/or certifications must be completed: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Kansas has a similarly worded provision for the deadline by which the state canvass must be initiated.
  • Massachusetts has a provision specifying the date by which the state canvass must be completed for presidential electors only.
  • Nineteen states have statutory language specifying the date on which a canvass is to be completed: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Vermont has a similarly worded provision for the deadline by which the state canvass must be initiated.
  • In the remaining six states, the language regarding the completion of the state canvass/certification is vague, open to interpretation, or not specified.: Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts (all other offices), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia.

For comments, suggestions, additions or corrections, please contact elections-info@ncsl.org.

Canvass Deadlines

State

County/Local Deadline

State Deadline

Alabama

Second Friday after election. (17-12-15 and -16)

22 days after the election. (17-12-17)

Alaska

Day after election. (15.15.370)

Begins no later than 16th day after the election and continues “until completion”. (15.15.440)

Arizona

Not more than 20 days after the election. (16-642)

On the fourth Monday following the election; may be postponed for up to 30 days until all county results are received. (16-648)

Arkansas

Presidential electors: 8 days after election. (7-8-304)

Presidential electors: winner declared within 20 days of election. (7-8-304); certified 5 days later. (7-8-305)

  Other offices: 15 calendar days after election. (7-5-701) Other offices: Within 30 days of time for county returns. (7-7-703)

California

Presidential electors: No later than 28 days after the election. (Elec. 1537(d))

Presidential electors: No later than 32nd day after election. (Elec. 15505)

  Other offices: No later than 30 days after the election. (Elec. 15372) Other offices: No later than 38th day after the election. (Elec. 15501(b))

Colorado

Not later than the 22nd day after the election. (1-10-102)

Not specified.

Connecticut

48 hours after the polls close. (9-314, as amended by P.A. 20-3-see sec. 14)

Presidential electors and members of Congress: last Wednesday of the month they were cast. (9-315)

Other offices: 30 days after the election if no contest has been filed; after the third Monday in December if there is a contest. (9-318)

Delaware

10 a.m. on the second day after the election. (Del. Const. Art. V §6 and 15 Del. C. §5701). Deadline for completion is not specified.

Not specified.

Florida

By noon on the 12th day after the election. (102.112(2))

9 a.m. on the 14th day after the election. (102.111(2))

Georgia

5 p.m. on second Friday following election. (21-2-493(k))

Presidential electors: 5 p.m. on 18th day after election. (21-2-499(b))

Hawaii

Within seven days following election. (11-108(e))

After the expiration of time for bringing a contest. (11-155 and 11-174.5)

Idaho

10 days after the election. (34-1205)

15 days after the election. (34-1211)

Illinois

Within 21 days of the election. (10 ILCS 5/21-2)

Within 31 days of the election. (10 ILCS 5/22-7)

Indiana

Noon on the second Monday following the election. (3-12-5-5 and -6)

Noon on the last Tuesday in November. (3-12-5-7)

Iowa

Within 13 days after the election. (50.30)

Not later than 27 days after the election. (50.38) State canvass shall be delayed with respect to any office to which a recount pertains. (50.48(6))

Kansas

Second Tuesday after the election. (25-3203)

Must begin no later than Dec. 1. (25-3206(b))

Kentucky

Noon on the Friday following the election. (118.425(4))

No later than third Monday after election. (118.425(5))

Louisiana

Noon on the sixth day after the election. (18:574(3))

On or before 14th day after election, if no contest has been filed. (18:574)

Maine

5 p.m. second business day after election. (21-A MRS 712)

Within 20 days after election. (21A-722)

Maryland

Second Friday after election, or within 48 hours if canvass is completed after this date. (11-401)

By the 35th day after the election. (11-503)

Massachusetts

Within 15 days after the election. (8-54-112)

Presidential electors: winner declared 10 days after results received; certified 14 days after that if no contest is filed. (8-54-118)

Other offices: Not specified.

Michigan

Presidential electors: By the seventh day or before the 14th day after the election, if results are close. (168.842(2))

Presidential electors: No later than the 20th day after the election. (168.842(3))

  Other offices: No later than the 14th day after the election. (168.822) Other offices: Board meets on 20th day; must complete canvass no later than the 40th day after the election. (168.842)

Minnesota

10 days after the election. (204C.37)

Third Tuesday after election. (204C.33)

Mississippi

10 days after the election. (23-15-603)

30 days after the election. (23-15-605)

Missouri

Presidential electors: 8 days after the election. (128.060)

Presidential electors: 15th day after the election. (128.070)

  Other offices: Second Tuesday after the election. (115.507) Other offices: Second Tuesday in Dec. (115.511)

Montana

Within 14 days of the election; if all returns are in at the time of the meeting, the board of county canvassers shall immediately canvas the returns. If all returns are not received, the board shall postpone the canvass from day to day until all canvass returns are received. (13-15-401)

Within 27 days after the election. (13-15-502)

Nebraska

Third Monday after election. (32-1035)

Fourth Monday after election. (32-1037)

Nevada

On or before the 10th day after the election. (293.387)

Fourth Tuesday in Nov. (293.395)

New Hampshire

8 a.m. on the day following the election, unless Secretary of State orders a different date. (659:75)

After the time for filing a recount has passed. (659:84 and 660:1)

New Jersey

On or before Nov. 23. (2020 Exec. Order 177)

On or before Dec. 8. (2020 Exec. Order 177)

New Mexico

Within 10 days after the election. (1-13-2(B)) or not later than 13 days after the election for counties over 150,000 population. (1-13-13)

Third Tuesday after the election. (1-13-15)

New York

Within 25 days after the election. (Elec. 9-214)

On or before the first Monday after the first Wednesday in Dec. (Elec. 9-216)

North Carolina

11 a.m. on the 10th day after the election. (163-182.5(b))

Not more than 10 days after the Tuesday that is three weeks after election day. (163-182.5(c))

North Dakota

Before 4 p.m. on the eighth day after the election. (16.1-15-25)

Board meets no later than 17 days after election. (16.1-15-35); may adjourn for up to three days. (16.1-15-38)

Ohio

No later than 21st day after the election. (3505.32)

No later than 10 days after abstracts received from counties. (3505.35)

Oklahoma

By 5 p.m. on the Friday following the election, if no contest has been filed. (26 OS 8-108)

By 5 p.m. on the Friday following the election, if no contest has been filed. (26 OS 8-108)

Oregon

Not later than the 20th day after the election. (254.545(3))

Not later than the 30th day after the election. (254.555(2))

Pennsylvania

Unofficial results due five days after election; results are final five days after that if no recount/recanvass is filed. (25 PSA 3154(f)

Not specified.

Rhode Island

Not specified.

Not specified.

South Carolina

No later than noon on Saturday following election. (7-17-20)

Board convenes within 10 days of election. (7-17-220); may adjourn up to five days to await presidential elector returns, or 15 days for other offices. (7-17-230)

South Dakota

Within six calendar days after the election. (12-21-36)

Board convenes within seven days after the election; may adjourn up to 10 days to await county returns (12-20-47)

Tennessee

No later than the third Monday after the election. (2-8-101)

Not specified.

Texas

Not later than the 14th day after the election. (67.03(c))

Not later than 33 days after the election (66.012(a)(2))

Utah

No later than 14 days after the election. (20A-4-301(1)(b))

Fourth Monday of Nov. at noon. (20A-4-306)

Vermont

48 hours after polls close. (17 VSA 2588(6)(A))

Board convenes at 10 a.m. one week after the election; no deadline for completion is specified. (17-2592(g))

Virginia

Not to exceed seven days from the day of the election. (24.2-671)

Board meets on third Monday in Nov.; may adjourn up to three days. (24.2-679)

Washington

Not later than 21 days after the election. (29A.60.190)

Not later than the 30th day after the election. (29A.60.250)

West Virginia

30 days from the election. (3-6-11)

Not specified.

Wisconsin

No later than 14 days after the election. (7.60(5)

First day of Dec. (7.70(3))

Wyoming

First Friday following the election. (22-16-108)

Board convenes no later than the second Wednesday after the election; no deadline for completion is specified. (22-16-118)

Certification Deadlines

The certification of election results is a review done by someone other than the election officials themselves, and it gives assurance that the election results are correct. Certification can be done at the local level but is always done at the state level by the chief election official of the state, the state board of elections or some other entity. 

This table provides the rule that determines the local and state certification dates as set by law.

In Summary:

County/Local Deadlines 

  • Counties must certify results to the state within one week after election day in 12 states: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Also, in Michigan, counties may be required to certify results for presidential electors to the state as early as one week after Election Day if early returns show that the results are close. 
  • Counties must certify results either during or no later than the second week following election day in 21 states: Alabama, Arkansas. (presidential electors only), Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. 
  • Counties must certify results either during or no later than the third week following election day in 13 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. 
  • Counties in four states must certify results to the state either during or no later than the fourth week following election day or later: California. (within 30 days of the election), Colorado. (no later than the 22nd day after the election), New York. (within 25 days after the election) and West Virginia. (within 30 days of the election, or after any recounts are completed). 

State Deadlines 

  • Thirty-three states have statutory language such as “not later than,” “by” or “within” that specifies the deadline by which state canvasses and/or certifications must be completed: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 
  • Another four states have similar language pertaining only to the canvass/certification deadline for presidential electors: Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts and Minnesota. 
  • In the remaining 17 states, the language regarding the completion of the state canvass/certification is vague, open to interpretation, or not specified for at least some offices: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. 

In addition, eight states have provisions requiring that certification, recounts, and/or contests related to presidential elections be completed by the “safe harbor” deadline specified in 3 U.S.C. § 5: Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In elections for all other offices in all other states, recounts and contest proceedings may extend beyond canvass completion and certification deadlines.  

In any given year, the calendar data can shift based on weekends and holidays. For the calendar date, please see each state’s website. A table of state election websites is available in the Resources tab.

For comments, suggestions, additions or corrections, please contact elections-info@ncsl.org.

 

Election Certification Deadlines

State

Local Certification Deadline

State Certification Deadline

Alabama

Generally: County officials meet at noon on the second Friday after the election and make a correct statement of the returns of the votes. (17-12-15)

 

Presidential electors: In all elections for electors for president and vice president, the canvassing board of each county must, within five days after making the statement of the county vote by precincts, return the result of the same to the secretary of state. (17-14-33)

Constitutional officers: certificates must be forwarded to governor for the speaker of the House at least 10 days before the next meeting of the legislature; certified by House of Representatives. (17-12-19)

 

Presidential electors: within 15 days of the time for making returns. (17-14-34)

 

Members of the legislature and Congress: Within 15 days after the time for making the returns, the governor, in the presence of the secretary of state and attorney general, or either of them in the absence of the other, must certify the returns, ascertain which electors are elected, and notify them by proclamation. (17-12-21)

Alaska

When the count of ballots is completed and in no event later than the day after the election. (15.15.370)

“Upon completion of the state ballot counting review”. (15.15.450)

Arizona

The governing body holding an election shall meet and canvass the election not less than six days nor more than 20 days following the election.(16-642) The certified permanent copy of the official canvass for all offices and ballot measures, except offices and ballot measures in a city or town election and nonpartisan election returns, shall be mailed immediately to the secretary of state who shall maintain and preserve it as a permanent public record. .(16-646(B))

According to the 2019 Elections Procedure Manual. (p. 248), Nov. 30, 2020, is the first day to issue certificates of election to federal, statewide and legislative candidates. Deadline not specified in statute. (16-650)

Arkansas

Presidential electors: Within eight days after the election, county clerks must transmit the abstract of the vote to the governor and secretary of state. (7-8-304(a))

 

Other offices: No later than the 15th calendar day after the election, the county board of election commissioners shall proceed to ascertain, declare, and certify the result of the election to the secretary of state. (7-5-701)

Presidential electors: results must be canvassed within 20 days of election. (7-8-304(b)); governor must certify results within five days of canvass. (7-8-305)

 

Members of Congress: Secretary of state has 30 days after receipt of results from counties to cast up and arrange the votes; governor must immediately thereafter grant certificates to the people elected. (7-5-703)

 

Constitutional officers: Results are certified by the General Assembly during the first week of session. (7-5-705)

California

The elections official shall prepare a certified statement of the results of the election and submit it to the governing body within 30 days of the election. (Elec. 15372)

Presidential electors: No later than the 32nd day following election, the secretary of state analyzes votes and certifies results to governor; secretary of state issues certificate of election. (Elec. 15505)

 

All other offices: On the 38th day after the election or before if all returns are received, secretary of state determines the votes cast, certifies results, and transmits certificates of election. (Elec. 15503 and 15504)

Colorado

Immediately after the official abstract of votes cast has been certified and no later than the 22nd day after any general or primary election or any coordinated election that includes a statewide ballot measure, the county clerk and recorder shall transmit to the secretary of state the portion of the abstract of votes cast that contains the statewide abstract of votes cast. (1-10-103) If a recount is held and the vote result changes, the county canvass board shall prepare and certify an amended official abstract of votes cast. If the vote result does not change after the recount, the county canvass board shall include a statement to that effect in the official abstract of votes cast. (1-10-102)

No later than the 27th day after the election, the secretary of state shall compile and total the returns, determine if a recount is necessary, and order the appropriate recounts, if any. (1-10-103(2))

 

Presidential electors: The secretary of state prepares a certificate of election for each presidential elector; the governor signs and affixes the seal of the state to the certificates and delivers one certificate to each elector on or before the 35th day after the general election. (CRS 1-11-107)

Connecticut

48 hours after the polls close. (9-314, as amended by P.A. 20-3-see sec. 14)

Presidential electors and members of Congress: Votes are counted on the last Wednesday of November; results are declared and winners are notified the same day. (9-315)

 

State officers: Certified by the General Assembly on the first day of session. (9-318)

 

State senators and representatives: Canvassed and declared during the month they are cast; secretary of state gives notice to persons elected within three days. (9-319)

Delaware

10 a.m. on the second day after the election. (Del. Const. Art. V §6 and 15 Del. C. §5701)

Presidential electors, senators and representatives in Congress: The governor shall, without delay, examine the returns and declare the persons elected. (15 Del. C. 5710, 5711, 5712, 5713)

Florida

County canvassing board must file returns with the Department of State by noon on the 12th day after the election. (102.112(2))

The Election Canvassing Commission shall meet at 9 a.m. on the 14th day after an election to certify the returns of the election for each federal, state, and multicounty office. (102.111(b))

Georgia

Superintendent certifies the consolidated returns not later than 5 p.m. on the second Friday following the election and are immediately transmitted to the secretary of state. Date may be extended if necessary to complete a precertification audit. (21-2-493(k))

Presidential electors: Not later than 5 p.m. on the 17th day following the election, the secretary of state shall certify the votes cast and shall no later than that same time lay the returns for presidential electors before the governor. The governor shall enumerate and ascertain the number of votes for each person and shall certify the slates of presidential electors receiving the highest number of votes. The governor shall certify the slates of presidential electors no later than 5 p.m. on the 18th day following the election. Notwithstanding the deadlines specified in this code section, such times may be altered for just cause by an order of a judge of superior court of this state. (21-2-499(b))

 

All other state offices: Not later than 5 p.m. on the 17th day following the election, the secretary of state shall certify the votes cast and shall no later than that same time lay the returns for presidential electors before the governor. (21-2-499(b)) Upon completing the tabulation of any election for [state officers] the secretary of state shall lay the same before the governor upon his or her oath of office as governor; and the governor, upon the other constitutional officers taking their oaths of office, shall issue a commission under the great seal of the state of Georgia signed by the governor and countersigned by the secretary of state, to each such person. The secretary of state shall issue the commission to the person elected governor. (21-2-502)

Hawaii

On receipt of certified tabulations from the election officials concerned, the chief election officer, or county clerk in a county election, shall compile, certify, and release the election results after the expiration of the time for bringing an election contest. (11-155) Deadline for bringing a contest is not later than 4:30 p.m. on the 20th day following a general election. (11-174.5)

Presidential electors: Not later than 4:30 p.m. on the last day in the month of the election, or as soon as the returns have been received from all counties in the state, if received before that time. (14-24)

 

All other offices: Results are certified after the expiration of the time for bringing a contest, or if there is a contest, after a final determination has been made and the time for an appeal has passed. (11-156)

Idaho

The county board of canvassers shall meet within 10 days after a general election for the purpose of canvassing the election returns of all precincts within the county. (34-1205) After the canvass, the county clerk, by registered mail, shall forward to the secretary of state the abstracts for all candidates for federal, state or district offices. (34-1207)

 

The state board of canvassers shall meet within 15 days after the general election in the office of the secretary of state for the purpose of canvassing the abstracts of votes cast for all candidates for federal, state and district offices. (34-1211) Immediately after the general election canvass, the secretary of state shall issue certificates of election to the federal, state and district candidates who received the highest number of votes. (34-1215)

 

Presidential electors: Certificates must be delivered on or before the second Wednesday in Dec. (34-1501)

Illinois

Presidential electors: Counties must certify results to the State Board of Elections within 21 days of the election. (10 ILCS 5/21-2)

 

County offices: Counties deliver certificates of election as part of the canvass process, which must conclude within 21 days of the election(10 ILCS 5/22-1, 10 ILCS 5/22-2)

Presidential electors: Within 31 days after the holding of such election, and sooner if all the returns are received by the State Board of Elections, the State Board of Elections shall proceed to open and canvass said election returns and to declare which set of candidates for president and vice president received, as aforesaid, the highest number of votes cast at such election. (10 ILCS 5/21-3) The governor certifies the results within five days after completion of the state canvass. (10 ILCS 5/21-3)

 

Other offices: The State Board of Elections, shall proceed within 31 days after the election, and sooner if all the returns are received, to canvass the votes. (10 ILCS 5/22-7)

Indiana

Not later than noon on the second Monday following an election, each circuit court clerk shall prepare a certified statement under the clerk's seal of the number of votes received by each candidate and transmit the statement to the elections division. (3-12-5-6)

Governor and lieutenant governor: General Assembly certifies. (3-12-5-5) no later than the day their terms commence. (Const. Art. V, §9)

 

Legislative offices: Effectively the second Monday after the election, because Organization Day for the General Assembly is the following day. (3-12-5-11).

 

Presidential electors and other state offices: Governor prepares candidate commissions by noon on first Tuesday in December and transmits to Elections Division; Elections Division delivers to candidates no later than second Tuesday in Dec. (3-12-5-8)

Iowa

The commissioner shall, within 13 days after the election, forward to the state commissioner one of the duplicate abstracts of votes for each office. (50.30)

Not later than 27 days after the day of the election, the secretary of state shall present to the board of state canvassers abstracts of votes and a summary of the results. The state board of canvassers shall review the results compiled by the secretary of state and, if the results are accurately tabulated, the state board shall approve the canvass. (50.38)

Kansas

If the secretary of statefails to receive the final abstract of the intermediate canvass of any state or national election by the second Tuesday after the election, the secretary shall dispatch a messenger to obtain a copy. In the event of a recount, county shall notify secretary of the date of the recount and the date when the intermediate abstract will be delivered. (25-3203)

State Board of Canvassers meets no later than Dec. 1. They may recess from time to time until the canvass is completed. The State Board of Canvassers shall certify a statement which shall show the names of the persons receiving votes for any of the offices, and the whole number received by each, distinguishing the districts and counties in which they were voted. (KSA 25-3206)

Kentucky*

Counties must certify results to the State Board of Elections no later than noon on the Friday following the election. (118.425(4)) May be delayed in the event of a recount or recanvass. (117.305)

State Board of Elections meets no later than the third Monday after the election to canvass the results. The board shall make out the certificates of election in the office of the board from the returns made. (118.425(5))

Louisiana

Election returns must be filed with the clerk of the court no later than 4 p.m. on the fifth day after the election. Clerk of the court must transmit results to secretary of state by noon on the sixth day. (18:574)

Within thirty days after the date on which a general election is scheduled to be held, the secretary of state shall certify the name of each candidate elected for a full term to the appropriate official. (18:513)

Maine

The municipal clerk shall make an attested copy of returns and immediately send them to the secretary of state. (21A §711) If an election return is not delivered by 5 p.m. on the second business day after an election, the secretary of state may send a courier to the municipality and the clerk shall give that courier a certified copy of the return. (21A §712)

Within 20 days after an election, the secretary of state shall tabulate the election returns and submit a certified copy of the tabulation to the Governor. (21A §722)

Maryland

Certified results are transmitted to state on the second Friday after the election or, if the canvass is completed after that date, within 48 hours after completion of the canvass. (Elec. 11-401(c))

Board of State Canvassers convenes within 35 days of an election, may adjourn for not more than one day, and prepares and transmits a certified statement of election results to the State Board of Elections. (Elec. 11-503) State Board of Elections and governor issue certificates to candidates elected. (Elec. 11-601 et seq.)

Massachusetts

Within 15 days after the election, town and city clerks transmit to the state secretary certified copies of the votes cast. (54-112)

Presidential electors: Within 10 days of when the records of votes are transmitted to the secretary of state, they are examined by the governor and council, who declare by proclamation the names of those elected. If no contest has been filed, the governor issues certificates of election 14 days after the proclamation. (54-118)

Members of Congress, state officers, state legislators: Not before 5 p.m. on the 15th day following an election, the governor certifies results. Certification is delayed in the event of a recount. (54-116)

Michigan

If unofficial returns show presidential results are within 25,000 votes: Secretary of state may order an expedited certification for presidential electors, due on a date specified by the board between the seventh and 13th days after the election. Statements of votes by county boards must be completed within 24 hours after the canvass. (168.842(2));. (168.828).

 

If presidential results are not within 25,000 votes: Canvass must be completed not later than the 14th day after the election. (168.822); results must be certified to state within 24 hours of completion. (168.828)

If unofficial returns show presidential results are within 25,000 votes: The secretary of state may appoint the day for the board of state canvassers to conduct the expedited canvass … and determine the results of that election. The day appointed … must be as soon as practicable after receipt of the returns from the boards of county canvassers, but no later than the 20th day after the election. (168.842(3)) as soon as practicable after the state board of canvassers has, by the official canvass, ascertained the result of an election as to electors of president and vice president, the governor shall certify the results. (168.46)

 

If presidential results are not within 25,000 votes: Not later than the 40th day after the election. (168.842)

Minnesota

Certified copy of results delivered to secretary of state by the 10th day after the election. (204C.37)

Presidential electors: At its meeting on the third Tuesday after the election, the State Canvassing Board shall open and canvass the returns made to the secretary of state for presidential electors and alternates, prepare a statement of the number of votes cast for the persons receiving votes for these offices, and declare the person or persons receiving the highest number of votes for each office duly elected. (208.05)

 

Other offices: Canvass begins on the third Tuesday after the election; no end date is specified. Board must declare results within three days of completing canvass.

Mississippi

State officers: Returns for state officers are bundled together and sealed; secretary of state delivers to the speaker of the House at the next session. (23-15-603)

 

All other offices: Election commissioners must transmit returns to the secretary of state within 10 days after the general election. (23-15-603)

State officers: Canvassed by state legislature

 

All other offices: The secretary of state, immediately after receiving the returns of an election, not longer than 30 days after the election, shall sum up the whole number of votes given for each candidate and ascertain the person or persons having the largest number of votes for each office, and declare such person or persons to be duly elected. (23-15-605)

Missouri

Presidential electors: Judges of election must make returns to county clerks within two days of the election; within eight days of receiving them, clerks must certify and transmit returns to the Governor. (128.060)

 

All other offices: Not later than the second Tuesday after the election, the election authority shall deliver to the secretary of state an abstract of votes. (115.507(4)). May be delayed not more than 30 days if circumstances clearly justify the delay. (115.509)

Presidential electors: The governor, on receipt of the certificates from the counties which he received within 15 days after the election, shall immediately add up the vote from the counties and declare duly elected the person in each district receiving the highest number of votes. (128.070)

 

All other offices: Not later than the second Tuesday in December, the board of canvassers shall issue a statement of results. (115.511)

Montana

Canvassing board meets within 14 days after the election. (13-15-401); may be postponed if not all returns are received. (13-15-402).

Within 27 days after the election, or sooner if the returns are all received, the state auditor, superintendent of public instruction, and attorney general shall meet as a board of state canvassers in the office of the secretary of state and determine the vote. (13-15-502)

Nebraska

Immediately after completion of canvass, county shall deliver an abstract to the secretary of state. (32-1034) If the secretary of state has not received the abstract of votes by the third Monday after the election, secretary may send a messenger to retrieve it. (32-1035). Precinct results for president, vice president, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, legislature, Public Service Commission and constitutional officers due in the office of the secretary of state eight weeks after the election. (32-1036)

Board of state canvassers meets on the fourth Monday after the election. Board may adjourn from day to day until all returns are received and all votes are tabulated. Deadline for completion not specified.. (32-1037) Certificates of election must be prepared and delivered within 40 days of the election. (32-1040).

Offices of executive departments: Canvassed by the legislature at its next regular session. (32-1039)

Nevada

The canvass must be transmitted to the secretary of state on or before the 10th day following the election. (32nd. (2020) Special Session, AB 4, sec. 50) Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.387

 

In the event of an emergency: In the event of an emergency, this deadline is extended to the 13th day after the election. (32nd. (2020) Special Session, AB 4, sec. 50)

On the fourth Tuesday of Nov. after each general election, the justices of the Supreme Court, or a majority thereof, shall meet with the secretary of state, and shall open and canvass the vote. (293.395) Deadline for completion not specified.

New Hampshire

No later than 8 a.m. on the day after the election. (659:75)

When the time for a recount or appeal has expired or when all candidates have in writing waived the right to a recount or appeal. (659:84). The deadline for requesting a recount is the Friday following the election. (660:1)

New Jersey

The county clerks' transmittal of the official November general election results to the secretary of state, under NJSA 19:19-13, must occur on or before Nov. 23, 2020, and county clerks may not seek an extension of this deadline. (Executive Order 177, sec. 17)

The meeting of the State Board of Canvassers, under NJSA 19:21-1, shall occur on or before Dec. 8, 2020, to certify the results of the November general election. (Executive Order 177, sec. 17)

New Mexico

The county canvassing board shall meet to approve the report of the canvass of the returns and declare the results no sooner than six days and no later than 10 days from the date of the election.  A county canvassing board in a county with more than 150,000 voters shall meet to approve the report of the canvass of the returns and declare the results no sooner than six days and no later than 13 days from the date of the election. (1-13-13)

State canvassing board declares result of election for certain offices on the third Tuesday after the election (1-13-15).

 

Certificates of election for all candidates must be issued upon approval of the state canvassing board, but no earlier than the 31st day after the election (1-13-16(B))

New York

The board of elections shall transmit by mail or cause to be delivered personally to the state board of elections a certified copy of the statement of the canvassing board within 25 days after the election. (Elec. 9-214)

Election years with presidential electors: The State Board of Canvassers shall meet on or before the first Monday after the first Wednesday after the election to canvass statements from the counties. The board may adjourn from day to day, not exceeding five days. (Elec. 2-16(2))

 

Election years without presidential electors: The state board of canvassers shall meet on or before the 15th day after each general election. (Elec. 2-16(2))

North Carolina

11 a.m. on the 10th day after the election; county board may hold canvassing meeting a reasonable time thereafter if initial counting has not been completed. (163-182.5(b))

Not more than 10 days after the Tuesday that is three weeks after election day. (163-182.5(c)) Certificates must be issued six days after completion of the canvass unless there is a protest pending. If there is a protest, the certificate shall be issued 10 days after the final decision of the state board on the protest. (163-182.15)

North Dakota

Before 4 p.m. on the eighth day following the election. (16.1-15-25)

State Canvassing Board meets no later than 17 days after the election. (16.1-15-35) The board may adjourn from day to day, not exceeding three days in all. (16.1-15-38)

 

Presidential electors: Within 10 days after the state canvassing board completes the canvass of the votes cast for presidential electors, the governor shall declare by proclamation the names of the persons who have received the highest number of votes returned for such office. If the election of such persons has not been contested by notice of contest having been filed with the governor within 10 days after the date of such proclamation, then such persons must be deemed elected, and the governor shall transmit to each person so chosen a certificate of election. (16.1-14-03)

Ohio

The board shall complete the canvass not later than the 21st day after the day of the election. Eighty-one days after the day of the election, the canvass of election returns shall be deemed final, and no amendments to the canvass may be made after that date. The secretary of state may specify an earlier date upon which the canvass of election returns shall be deemed final. (3505.32)

State executive offices: During the first week of the session after a regular election, the General Assembly canvasses the votes, declares the results, and certifies them to the secretary of state. (3505.34)

 

Federal offices and state offices other than executive: Not later than 10 days after the abstracts have been received from all counties, the secretary of state canvasses. (3505.35)

 

Presidential electors: The secretary of state shall immediately upon the completion of the canvass of election returns mail to each presidential elector so elected a certificate of his election…". (3505.39)

Oklahoma

After 5 p.m. on the Friday following the election. (26 O.S. § 7-136).

After 5 p.m. on the Tuesday next succeeding the election. (26 O.S. § 7-136).

Oregon

No later than the 20th day after the election. (254.545(3))

Not later than the 30th day after the election, the secretary of state must canvass the votes, prepare and deliver certificates of election, and issue a proclamation declaring the election of candidates to offices. (254.555)

Pennsylvania

Unofficial returns submitted to secretary of stateby 5 p.m. on the Tuesday after the election. If after five days no petition for a recount or recanvass has been filed, or upon completion of any recount or recanvass that is timely filed, the county board shall certify the results. (25 PSA 3154(f))

Upon receiving the certified returns of any primary or election from the various county boards, the secretary of the commonwealth shall forthwith proceed to tabulate, compute and canvass the votes cast for all candidates. No completion deadline is specified. (25 PSA 3159)

Rhode Island

The local board shall meet on the day following the election and shall tabulate the election returns and announce the results, but shall issue no certificates of election until the time for filing petitions for recounts. (seven days after the election) has expired and, if a petition has been filed, until the petition has been finally determined. (17-19-36)

The state board shall, immediately after completing the counting, canvass, and tabulating of the votes cast for general officers and senators and representatives in the general assembly and declaring the result, furnish the governor a certificate of the names of the persons who have been elected general officers for the ensuing year, and shall also furnish to the secretary of state a certificate of the names of the persons elected as senators and representatives in the General Assembly. (17-22-6)

South Carolina

County boards of canvassers must transmit statements of the vote to the State Board of Canvassers no later than noon on the Saturday after the election. (7-17-20)

Board of State Canvassers convenes within 10 days of the election. (7-17-220) Board may adjourn from day to day for a term not exceeding 15 days. (7-17-230)

 

Presidential electors: In case all the certified statements have not been received on the day set for the meeting of the Board, the Board may adjourn from day to day until the same shall have been received, not exceeding five days; and if at the expiration of four days certified copies of the statements of county canvassers shall not have been received from any county, the board shall proceed to canvass upon such of the statements as shall have been received. (7-17-230)

South Dakota

Counties must complete canvass within six calendar days after the election. (12-20-36) County must transmit to secretary of state immediately. (12-20-38.1)

The Board of State Canvassers must convene within seven days after the election. The board may adjourn for up to 10 days for the purpose of obtaining returns from each county. The board reconvenes after any recount to recanvass the election with the certificates corrected by the recount. (12-21-39)

Tennessee

County election commissions must certify results no later than the third Monday after the election. (2-8-101)

“As soon as the returns are received”. (2-8-110(a))

Texas

The last day for local canvassing authority to meet is the 14th day after the election. (Elec. 67.003) Must be delivered to secretary of state within 24 hours of completion. (Elec. 67.007)

Governor and lieutenant governor: Canvassed by the legislature during the first week of the session. (Elec. 67.011 and Const. Art. IV §3)

 

All other offices: The governor shall conduct the canvass at a time set by the secretary of state not earlier than the 18th or later than the 33rd day after the election. (Elec. 67.012)

Utah

Board of county canvassers meets no later than 14 days after the election. (20A-4-301(1)(b)) If the lieutenant governor has not received results from a county on the fifth day before the state canvassing board meets, a messenger may be dispatched to demand a certified copy. (20A-4-306(3))

State board of canvassers convenes at noon on the fourth Monday of Nov.. (20A-4-306(1)). No deadline for completion is specified.

Vermont

In a manner prescribed by the secretary of state and within 48 hours of the close of the polls, the town clerk shall deliver to the secretary of state, the senatorial district clerk, the county clerk and the representative district clerk one certified copy each of the return. (17-2588(6)(C))

The canvassing committees shall meet at 10 a.m. one week after the election. They may recess from time to time until they complete their work. (17-2592(g)(h))

Virginia

Electoral board meets at or before 5 p.m. the day after the election and may adjourn as needed, not to exceed seven calendar days from the date of the election. (24.2-671) The abstracts shall be certified and signed by the electoral board, attested by the secretary, and retained by the electoral board as part of its records. A copy of each, certified under the official seal of the electoral board, shall immediately be mailed or delivered by hand to the State Board. (24.2-675)

The State Board meets on the third Monday in November. If a majority is not present or if, for any other reason, the board is unable to ascertain the results on that day, the meeting shall stand adjourned from day to day for not more than three days until a quorum is present and the board has ascertained the results as provided in this section. (24.2-679)

 

Washington

Twenty-one days after a general election, the county canvassing board shall complete the canvass and certify the results. (29A.60.190) The cumulative report of the election and a copy of the certificate of the election must be transmitted to the secretary of state immediately.

. (29A.60.230)

As soon as the returns have been received from all the counties of the state, but not later than the 30th day after the election, the secretary of state shall canvass and certify the returns of the general election. (29A.60.250)

West Virginia

County boards of canvassers meet on the fifth day after the election, excluding Sundays. They may adjourn “no longer than absolutely necessary.”  After canvassing the returns, the board publicly declares the results. There is a period of 48 hours. (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) after the declaration before results are certified. (3-6-9) Certificates must be transmitted to the secretary of state and governor within 30 days of the election, or if there is a recount, within 30 days of the completion of the recount. (3-6-11)

State legislators: Secretary of state transmits results to the relevant chamber, which canvasses and certifies results during its next regular session. (3-6-11)

 

State officers: Secretary of state transmits results to the House of Delegates, which canvasses and certifies results during its next regular session. A copy is also transmitted to the governor, who immediately tabulates the results and causes them to be printed in a newspaper. (3-6-11)

 

Presidential electors, members of Congress: After receiving results from county commissioners within 30 days after the election, the governor ascertains who is elected and makes a proclamation thereof. (3-6-11)

Wisconsin

County clerk must deliver or transmit certified statements to the elections commission no later than 14 days after the election. (7.60(5))

The commission chair shall publicly canvass the results and make his or her determinations and certifications no later than the first day of Dec.. (7.70(3))

Wyoming

The county canvassing board shall meet at a time and place designated by the county clerk, but no later than the first Friday following the election. (22-16-103(c)(1)) Immediately upon completion of the county canvass, the county clerk shall notify the secretary of state of the election results. (22-16-108)

The state canvassing board shall meet no later than the second Wednesday following the election to review the state abstracts prepared by the secretary of state, compare them with the tabulation and materials prepared by the secretary of state, resolve any tie votes, and certify the abstract as the official state canvass. (22-16-118)

*For the 2020 election only, Kentucky’s certification deadlines have been modified. For more information, see the regulations: https://www.Secretary of State.ky.gov/elections/Documents/2020GeneralElection/Signed%2031%20KAR%204.192E.pdf

Voter Intent Laws

By definition, all eligible ballots should be counted in an election. And yet, sometimes there are questions about the eligibility of a ballot. (Eligibility of a ballot is different than eligibility of the voter. For in-person voting, voter eligibility is determined at voter check-in, and for absentee/mail voting, voter eligibility is determined by the information, or affidavit, provided on the outside of the return envelope.)

If a ballot itself is questionable—it has stray marks, the oval isn’t fully colored in, the voter has scratched out and written “this one” with an arrow—election officials must decide whether to count it. Some states don’t count a ballot if it is not completed properly; others have statutes that say if the voter’s intent can be understood, the ballot can be counted. These are known as “voter intent laws,” are applicable to paper ballots only; electronic voting systems function differently.  

For details, please contact the state’s election officials. A table of state election websites is available in the Resources tab. For comments, suggestions, additions or corrections, please contact elections-info@ncsl.org.

 

Voter Intent Laws

State

Description

Alabama

Ala. Code 17-12-13

Ala. Admin. Code 820-2-1-.02

Statute provides minimal guidance for which ballots can be counted. Administrative rules provide a more specific definition of what constitutes a vote.

Alabama only hand counts ballots from voters overseas who email their ballots to election officials. 

Alaska

AS 15.15.360

Statute spells out rules for counting ballots. Page 9 of the 2014 Recount Handbook offers examples of what constitutes a valid vote.

Arizona

ARS 16-602(G)

Page 233 of the 2019 Elections Procedures Manual describes the standards for determining voter intent in hand counts. The members of the hand count board are required to reach a unanimous decision as to voter intent. If they cannot, statute provides that the officer in charge of the election makes the final determination.

Arkansas

Ark. Code 7-5-603(2)(B)

The secretary of state's Rules for Voter Intent contain detailed definitions and visual examples of what constitutes a valid vote. Statute declares that it is poll workers’ responsibility to determine voter intent in the case of overvotes, but provides no guidance.

California

CA Elec. Code 15154

The secretary of state’s Uniform Vote Counting Standards provides detailed standards for what constitutes a valid vote. Statute provides a brief description of conditions which do and do not lead to a ballot being rejected.

Colorado

CRS 1-7-309 and -508

8 CCR 1505-1-18

Statute provides general guidance for the determination of improperly marked ballots. Administrative rules include detailed uniform standards for counting paper ballots.

Connecticut

 

No guidelines in statute. The secretary of state’s Recanvass Procedure Manual includes visual examples of properly and improperly marked ballots on pp. 29-31.

Delaware

15 Del. Code 4972

Statute outlines rules that must be observed in determining those votes on paper ballots that must be counted.

Florida

Fla. Stat. 102.166(4)(b)

Fla. Admin. Code R. 1S-2.027

Statute directs Department of State to adopt specific rules for the federal write-in absentee ballot and for each certified voting system prescribing what constitutes a “clear indication on the ballot that the voter has made a definite choice.” Administrative rules contain detailed visual representations of what constitutes a valid vote.

Georgia

OCGA 21-2-435 and -437

GA RandR 183-1-15-.02

Statute describes the proper manner of marking a ballot and the procedure for determining during counting which ballots are void. Administrative rules provide detailed standards for determining what constitutes a valid vote.

Hawaii

HAR 3-177-769

Administrative rules describe and provide visual examples of what valid and invalid ballot marks are.

Idaho

Idaho Code 34-1203

 

Statute states that if it is impossible to determine an elector’s choice, a ballot is void. Directs secretary of state to adopt standards to define what constitutes a vote.

 

Idaho Election Handbook contains directives for how to judge voter intent on pages J20-1 – J20-4. Procedural Manual for Judges and Clerks of Elections contains directives for counting paper ballots on pp. 83-85.

Illinois

10 ILCS 5/17-100, 5/18-100, 5/24A-22, 5/24B-9.1 and 5/24C-10

Statutes provide definitions of a vote on the various types of voting systems or equipment used in the state.

Indiana

IC 3-12-1-1 et seq.

Statutes require that voter intent be honored when it is discernible. 

Iowa

Iowa Code 49.92 et seq.

IAC 721.26.1 et seq.

Statutes provide guidance for determining appropriate voting marks. Administrative rules provide detailed directions for counting votes.

Kansas

KS Stat. 25-3002

Statute describes rules for validity of ballots. The secretary of state publication Kansas Election Standards describes the standards for counting votes on pages 15-22 of chapter III.

Kentucky

31 KAR 60:030

Administrative rules specify a uniform definition of a vote.

Louisiana

No statutory guidance and no administrative regulations.

Maine

21-A M.R.S. 696(6)

29-50 C.M.R. Chap. 550

Statute directs the secretary of state to adopt rules for determining voter intent based on relevant case law. Administrative rules contain descriptions of what constitutes a valid vote.

Maryland

Md. Election Law Code Ann. 11-302(d)3)

COMAR 33.08.02

Statute directs State Board of Elections to adopt regulations that reflect the policy that the clarity of the voter is the overriding consideration in determining the validity of an absentee ballot. Administrative rules contain detailed definitions of what constitutes a vote.

Massachusetts

 

Secretary of state publication Election Recounts offers guidance on voter intent: see “The Will of the Voters” on p. 7 and examples of previous court rulings on contested ballots on pp. 12-15.

Michigan

MCL 168.803

Mich. Admin. Code r. 168.934 and .924

Statute lists rules governing the counting and recounting votes, and also authorizes the secretary of state to issue instructions. Administrative rules provide further detailed guidance.

Minnesota

MS 204C.22

Statute specifies principles for determining voter intent.

Mississippi

MCA 23-15-523

Statute specifies guidelines for ascertaining the intent of the voter.

Missouri

Mo.Rev.Stat. 115.456

15 CSR 30-9.010 et seq.

Statute provides guidance for how to construe ballot markings. Administrative rules detail uniform counting standards and include visual representations of valid votes.

Montana

MCA 13-15-206(7)

ARM 44.3.2402

Statute directs the secretary of state to adopt rules defining a valid vote. Administrative rules contained detailed directions for determining a valid vote.

Nebraska

NRS 32-901, -1003, -1004 and -1015

Statutes describe how to properly mark a ballot and a process by which counting boards resolve questions of the legality of votes.

Nevada

NRS 293.3677 and .367

Statutes describe standards for counting votes.

New Hampshire

NH RSA 659:64

Statute provides general guidelines for determining the intention of the voter. The secretary of state’s Election Procedure Manual: 2020-2021 contains a section defining what constitutes a legal vote and legal voting mark on pp. 98-101.

New Jersey

NJSA 19:16-3 and 19:53C-15

Statutes describe instructions for counting votes and standards for validity of provisional ballots.

New Mexico

NMSA 1-1-5.2 and 1-14-22(A)

Statute directs the secretary of state to issue rules governing and allowing procedures for reviewing the qualification of provisional ballot envelopes, absentee and other paper ballots. Statutes provide guidance for how to ascertain intent for paper ballots, whether machine-tabulated or hand-tallied.

New York

NY Elec. Law 9-112

9 CRR-NY 6210.13 and 6210.15

Statute provides guidelines for determining the validity of ballots. Administrative rules describe uniform, nondiscriminatory standards for establishing what constitutes a vote and what shall be counted as a vote for all categories of voting systems in the state.

North Carolina

NCGS 182.1

08 NCAC 09.0106

Memo 2019-07

Statute directs the State Board of Elections to adopt uniform and nondiscriminatory procedures and standards for voting systems, including definitions of what constitutes a vote and what will be counted as a vote for each category of voting system used in the state. Administrative rules contain general guidelines for determining valid votes. Memo 2019-07, “What Constitutes a Vote,” contains guidance and examples of what constitutes a valid vote.

North Dakota

NDCC 16.1-06-26

NDAC 72-06-01-05 and -06

Statute permits secretary of state to adopt rules to define what constitutes a vote on each electronic voting system and electronic counting machine which has been certified for procurement in the state. Administrative rules define a vote on optical scan and direct record electronic voting systems.

Ohio

ORC 3506.21

Statute provides a description of what constitutes a valid vote.

Oklahoma

OK Stat. 26-7-127

OAC 230:45-5-19

Statute provides that a valid vote shall be any mark prescribed by the Secretary of the State Election Board made by voters indicating the voter's choice of party, candidate or issue on a ballot. Administrative rules contain specific rules for counting ballots.

Oregon

ORS 254.505

Statute provides general guidelines for counting ballots. The secretary of state’s Vote By Mail Procedures Manual includes rules for determining voter intent, beginning on page 39.

Pennsylvania

25 PS 3063 and 3155

Statutes describe which ballots should be counted and the manner of computing irregular ballots.

Rhode Island

 

The secretary of state's publication Procedures for Mail Ballot Tabulation provides general guidelines for processing ballots that cannot be “read” by an automated ballot counter.

South Carolina

SC Code 11-13-1120

Statute provides procedures to determine the disposition of improperly marked ballots. The secretary of state’s Poll Managers Handbook provides additional guidance for evaluating voter intent when hand-counting ballots.

South Dakota

SDCL 12-20-7

ARSD 5:02:09:22

Statute directs the State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules defining standards for determining voter intent. Administrative rule provides simply that “A mark that touches the oval on an optical scan ballot shall be counted as a vote; any mark that does not touch the oval and is not in the oval may not be counted as a vote.”

Tennessee

TCA 2-7-133

Tenn. Comp. R and Regs. 1360-2-12-.05(7)

Statute describes which ballots may be counted. Administrative rules provide additional guidance.

Texas

Tex. Elec. Code 65.009

Statute provides guidelines for determining the intent of the voter. The secretary of state’s publication Qualifying Voters on Election Day includes guidance on determining a voter’s intent beginning on page. 75.

Utah

Utah Code 20A-4-105

Utah Admin. Code r. 623-2

Statute specifies standards and requirements for evaluating a voter’s choice. Administrative rules provide uniform ballot counting standards.

Vermont

17 VSA 2587

CVR 04-010-003

Statute contains basic guidelines for evaluating voter intent and directs the secretary of state to adopt rules providing further guidance. Administrative rules provide for uniform, nondiscriminatory standards for establishing what constitutes a vote and what shall be counted as a vote for all categories of voting systems and voting procedures used in Vermont. See also the 2020 Election Procedures manual, appendices K and M.

Virginia

Va. Code 24.2-712(D), -644 and -802

 

Statute directs the State Board of Elections to promulgate standards for accurate counting of votes based upon objective evidence and taking into account the voting system and form of ballots approved for use in the commonwealth. It also provides some guidelines on what constitutes a valid vote for presidential electors. A document called Ballot Examples: Hand Counting Printed Ballots for Virginia Elections or Recounts provides many visual representations of what constitutes a valid vote.

Washington

RCW 29A.60.040

WAC 434-61-286

Statute describes when ballots must be rejected. Administrative rules specify statewide standards on what is a vote. The secretary of state also publishes Voter Intent: Statewide Standards on What Is a Vote.

West Virginia

WVa Code 3-6-7

W.Va. Code R. 153-27

Statute describes procedures for handling irregular ballots. Administrative rules describe procedures for handling optical scan ballots.

Wisconsin

Wisc. Stat. 7.50(2)

Statute provides basic guidance for ascertaining voter intent. A Wisconsin Election Commission publication entitled Counting Votes at the Spring Primary, Spring Election and General Election provides more detail.

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. 22-14-114

002-0005-6 Wyo. Code. R.

Statute permits the secretary of state to promulgate rules establishing standards for when the intent of the voter is unmistakable but the ballot was received in such damaged, soiled, or other condition that it is rejected by the machine. Administrative rules spell out those standards.

 

Contested Election Deadlines

When a candidate or campaign is not satisfied that an election was conducted correctly, they can contest the outcome. In other words, they can sue. States can specify a date, or deadline, by which the contest must be initiated. States can also provide a date when the contest must be concluded. This is to ensure a speedy resolution so that the winner can be sworn in and governance is not disrupted by a lengthy judicial process. In general, the rules governing these processes are laid out not just in state statutes, but in regulations and guidelines as well. The processes described here are therefore different from laws regulating the disputing of a voter’s right to cast a ballot or a candidate’s request for a recount.

The table below provides the deadlines for election contests as set by statute. In Summary:

  • Forty-four states have statutes pertaining to election contests. The states lacking such statutes are Maine, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
  • Seven states provide a deadline for the completion of a contest for some elected offices.
  • In five states--Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia--a completion deadline is specified for contests relating to presidential electors, but not for any other office. In most of these five states, the deadline to decide a contest is tied to Title 3, Chapter 1 of the United States Code and its “safe harbor” deadline for states to resolve disputed presidential elections. (That is, by the time electors vote on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.). In Tennessee, contests for presidential elector must be decided before the last day of November.

In any given year, the calendar date can shift based on weekends and holidays. For the calendar date, please see each state’s website. A table of state election websites is available in the Resources tab.

For comments, suggestions, additions or corrections, please contact elections-info@ncsl.org.

 

Contested Election Deadlines

State

Office

   

Deadline to Initiate

Deadline to Conclude

Alabama

All offices

   

Within 20 days after a result is declared, unless an automatic recount is required, in which case the time limit is suspended until the result is recertified. (17-16-49 and 17-16-20(f))

Not specified.

Alaska

All offices

   

Action may be brought in the superior court within 10 days after the completion of the state review. (15.20.550)

Not specified.

Arizona

All offices

   

Must be filed within five days of the completion of the canvass and certification of results. (16-673).

Not specified.

Arkansas Offices certified at county level     Must be filed within 20 days of certification. (7-5-801) Not specified.
  Legislative and executive offices     Contests for legislative and executive offices are conducted by the legislature. Legislative contests must be filed within 15 days of certification by the county board. (7-5-805) Not specified.
  All other offices     No deadline for filing is specified. Not specified.
California Presidential electors     Within 10 days after the declaration of results of the election or the declaration of the results of the post-election risk-limiting audit. (Elec. 16401(c)). Not specified.
  All other offices     Within 30 days after the declaration of results of the election or the declaration of the results of the post-election risk-limiting audit. (Elec. 16401(d)) Not specified.
Colorado Presidential electors     The supreme court has original jurisdiction for the adjudication of contests and shall prescribe rules for practice and proceedings for such contests [1-11-204) Not specified.
  State officers     Notice of intention to contest the election must be filed with the secretary of state between the sixth and 10th legislative days of the first session of the General Assembly after the day of the election. (1-11-205(1) Not specified.
  State legislator     Notice of intention to contest the election must be filed with the secretary of state within 10 days of the completion of the official abstract of votes. (1-11-208) Not specified.
Connecticut Presidential electors and members of Congress     Complaint must be filed within 14 days after the election, or if it relates to the manual tabulation of paper ballots, within seven days after that is completed. Court may order a recount as part of their process. (9-323) Court must certify results of their finding to the secretary of state before the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Court may order a new election as part of their finding. (9-323)
  All other offices     Complaint must be filed within 14 days after the election, or if it relates to the manual tabulation of paper ballots, within seven days after that is completed. (9-324) Court must certify results of their finding to the secretary of state by Dec. 15. (9-324)
Delaware Presidential electors     Intent to contest must be filed within 10 days of the proclamation of the governor. (15 Del. C. 5921) Not specified.
  State legislators     Intent to contest must be filed at least 20 days before the meeting of the General Assembly. (15 Del. C. 5901) Not specified.
  All other Offices     Intent to contest must be filed within 20 days after the result of the canvass has been official ascertained. (15 Del. C. 5945) Not specified.
Florida State legislators     The certification of election of any person to the office of member of either house of the legislature may only be contested in the applicable house by an unsuccessful candidate for such office, in accordance with the rules of that house. Not specified.
  All other offices     Complaint must be filed within 10 days after midnight of the date the last board responsible for certifying the results officially certifies the results of the election being contested. (102.168) Not specified.

Georgia

All offices

   

Petition must be filed within five days after the official consolidation of the returns for that office, or within five days after the official consolidation of the returns following a recount. (21-2-524)

Not specified.

Hawaii

All offices

   

Complaint must be filed no later than 4:30  p.m. on the 20th day following the election. (11-174.5)

Not specified.

Idaho

All offices

   

Must be filed within 20 days after the votes are canvassed. (34-2008 and 34-2108)

Not specified.

Illinois

All offices

   

Must be filed within 15 days of the official proclamation of results. (10 ILCS 5/23-1.2a)

The determination of the contest shall be made as soon as practicable. (10 ILCS 5/23-1.12a)

Indiana Presidential electors     A candidate must file no later than noon, 14 days after Election Day. The chair of a state or county political party must file no later than noon, 17 days after Election Day. . (3-12-11-2) A recount certificate is made and signed upon completion; it supersedes all previous returns. (3-12-11-19) As required under 3 U.S.C. 5, any recount or contest proceeding concerning the election of presidential electors must be concluded not later than six. (6) days before the time fixed by federal law for the meeting of the presidential electors. (3-12-11-19.5)
  Governor and lieutenant governor     Contests are determined by the General Assembly. (Const. Art. V, §6) Not specified.
Iowa Presidential electors and members of Congress     Must be filed within two days from the day on which the returns are canvassed by the state board of canvassers. (60.4) Trials for contests of presidential and congressional elections must be conducted such that a final determination and judgment shall be rendered at least six days before the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. (60.5)
  Governor and lieutenant governor     Notice must be filed with presiding officers of each house of the General Assembly within 30 days after the proclamation of the result of the election. (58.1) Not specified.
  Other state officers     Must be filed with clerk within 30 days after the incumbent was declared elected. (61.3) The time for the trial of any contest relative to a state office shall not be set beyond the last Monday in January following the election. (61.9)
  State legislators     Notice must be served upon the incumbent prior to 20 days before the start of the next legislative session, and delivered to the secretary of state within five days after that. (59.1) Not specified.

Kansas

All offices

   

The notice of contest shall be filed within five days after the certificate of election is issued. (25-1439)

If the contest is for state senate or house of representatives, the judge must hold a hearing within 20 days after notice has been filed. (25-1446). The matter is tried as a civil action. Not specified for other offices.

Kentucky Governor and lieutenant governor     The notice shall be given within 30 days after the final action of the State Board of Elections. (120.195(2)). Contest is heard by the General Assembly in the next session after the election. (120.205) Not specified.
  State legislator     The notice shall be given within 15 days after the final action of the county board of elections or the State Board of Elections, whichever canvasses the returns. (120.195(2)) Contest is heard by the General Assembly. (120.215) Not specified.
  All Other State, County, District and City Offices     The petition shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the contestee resides within 30 days after the day of election. (120.155) If the contest includes a request for a recount, it must be filed within 10 days of the election. (120.185) Not specified.

Louisiana

All offices

   

An action contesting any election involving election to office shall be instituted not later than 4:30 p.m. of the ninth day after the date of the election. (18:1405)

Not specified.

Massachusetts

All offices

   

Within 30 days of the election. (54 § 134)

Not specified.

Maryland

All offices

   

Within the earlier of 10 days after the act or omission became known to the petitioner or seven days after the election. (Elec. 12-202)

Not specified.

Michigan

All offices

   

Not specified.

Not specified.

Minnesota

All offices

   

Within seven days after the canvass is completed. (209.021) Time for notice of a contest for an office which is recounted pursuant to this section shall begin to run upon certification of the results of the recount by the canvassing board. (204C.35, Subdiv. 1(d))

Not specified.

Mississippi

All offices

   

Within 20 days after the election. (23-15-951)

Not specified.

Missouri Presidential electors     All contested elections for presidential electors shall be determined by a joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly. (128.100) Not specified.
  All other offices     Not later than 30 days after the official announcement of the election result by the secretary of state. (115.557 and .577) Not specified.

Montana

All offices

   

Five days after certification. (13-36-102)

Any action to contest the right of a candidate to be declared elected to an office must, unless a different time is stated, be commenced within 1 year after the day of election at which the offense was committed. (13-36-102(2)).

Nebraska State officers     Within 40 days after the election. (32-1102) Not specified.
  Officers of political subdivisions of the state     Within 20 days after the official canvass. (32-1109) Not specified.

Nevada

All offices

   

Must be filed no later than five days after a recount is completed, or if no recount was conducted, within 14 days after the election. (293.413)

Not specified.

New Hampshire State legislators     Must be filed on or before Dec. 15. (660:18) Not specified.
  Other offices     Not specified.  

New Jersey

All offices

   

Not later than 32 days after the election, unless the ground of action is discovered in campaign finance filings, in which case a petition may be filed 32 days after such campaign finance document is filed. Any petition of contest may be filed within 12 days after the results of a recount are determined or announced. (19:29-3)

Not specified.

New Mexico

All offices

   

No later than 30 days after the issuance of the certificate of election. (1-14-3)

Not specified.

New York

Not specified.

North Carolina

All offices

   

If the protest concerns how votes were counted or results tabulated, must be filed before the beginning of the county canvass meeting; if the protest concerns how votes were counted or results tabulated and states good cause for delay in filing: 5 p.m. on the second business day after the county has completed its canvass and certified results. (163-182.9)

Not specified.

North Dakota Presidential electors     Must be filed by 4 p.m. on the 10th day after the governor’s proclamation of the vote. (16.1-14-09) The time fixed for the hearing must be not less than three and not more than 15 days from the filing of the petition, but no completion deadline is specified. (16.1-14-10)
  All other offices     Must be filed within five days after the final certification of a recount, or if no recount is conducted, within 14 days after final certification. (16.1-16-04) Not specified.

Ohio

All offices

   

Must be filed within 15 days after the results have been ascertained and announced by the proper authority, or if there is a recount, within 10 days after the results of the recount  have been ascertained and announced by the proper authority. (3515.09)

Date for hearing shall be not less than 15 nor more than 30 days after the petition is filed. (3515.10). Court may allow adjournments for not more than 30 days, for the benefit of either party, on such terms as to costs and otherwise as seem reasonable to the court, the grounds for such adjournment being shown by affidavit. The hearing shall proceed expeditiously and the total of such adjournments shall not exceed 30 days after the date set for the original hearing. (3515.11)

Oklahoma

26 Okl.St.Ann. § 8-118

All offices

   

Procedures specified but dates not specified.

Oregon

All offices

   

Petition must be filed no later than the 40th day after the election or the seventh day after the completion of a recount. (258.036)

Not specified.

Pennsylvania

All offices

   

Petition must be filed within 20 days after the election. (25 PSA 3456)

Not specified.

Rhode Island Not specified.        
South Carolina All offices     Appeal of a decision by a county board to a state board must be filed by the Monday after the decision was made. (7-17-60) Must be heard no later than the Monday 14 days after it was filed. (7-17-70); deadline for completion not specified.
  All offices     Protests and contests arising from elections for federal and state officers, state legislative offices, and multi-county offices must be filed by noon not more than five days after the canvass for that office. (7-17-260) Must be heard not earlier than the fifth day or later than the 25th day following receipt of the protest. No end date is specified. (7-17-270)

South Dakota

All offices

   

Must be initiated within 10 days after the completion of the canvass, or within five days after the announcement of the result of any recount. (12-22-5)

Not specified.

Tennessee Presidential electors     Must be filed within 10 days of the election. (2-17-103) Shall be decided finally and unreviewably before the last day of November by the presidential electors tribunal composed of the governor, secretary of state and attorney general and reporter. (2-17-103)
  All other offices     Must be filed within five days after certification of the election. (2-17-105) Not specified.
Texas Presidential electors     Must be filed not later than the 10th day after the date the election records are publicly available under 1.012 or the official result is determined. (Elec. 243.003) The governor shall determine the outcome of the contested election and render the decision not later than the seventh day before the date set by law for the meeting of the electors. (Elec. 243.012)
  State officers and state legislators     Must be filed with the secretary of state not later than the later of the seventh day after the date the election records are publicly available under Section 1.012 or the official result of the contested election is determined. (Elec. 241.003) Contest is heard by the legislature; deadline for completion Not specified.
  All other offices     Must be filed within 30 days of the election, unless the election at issue is a primary or runoff primary, or a general or special election for which an election is necessary, in which case the challenge must be filed no later than 10 days after the election records are publicly available (232.008) Not specified, although statutes provide for expedited judicial processes (232.012).

Utah

All offices

   

Must be filed within 40 days after the canvass. (20A-4-403)

Not specified. Must be resolved no more than 30 days from the date the petition was filed. (20A-4-401(1)(b)(ii)).

Vermont

All offices

   

Must be filed within 15 days of the election. (17 VSA 2603(c))

Not specified.

Virginia Presidential electors     Notice of intent must be filed no later than 5 p.m.on the second calendar day after the day the State Board certifies the result of the election under 24.2-679. (24.2-805) The contest of elections for presidential electors shall not wait upon the results of any recount and the proceedings shall be held promptly and completed, in accordance with the provisions of 3 USC 5, at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors. (24.2-805)
  All other offices     Must be filed within 30 days after the election. (24.2-808, or within 10 days following the entry of the order of a recount court, if the contest follows a recount). (24.2-814) Not specified.

Washington

All offices

   

No later than 10 days following the official certification of the election. (29A.68.013)

Not specified.

  State officers and state legislators     Must be filed within 10 days of certification. (3-7-1) Not specified.

Wisconsin

No specific contest procedure in statute. However, the result of a recount may be appealed to circuit court within five days after completion of the recount determination. (9.01(6)(a))

Wyoming

Presidential electors and state legislators

   

Within five days of certification of the results by the state canvassing board. (22-17-114)

Not specified.

State legislators

   

Within 30 days of certification by the state canvassing board. (22-17-110)

Not specified.

All other offices

   

Must be filed within 14 days of certification by the canvassing board. (22-17-102)

Not specified.

State Election Calendar Websites

The official source for information on deadlines is the office of the state’s chief election official. This is often, but not always, the secretary of state. The table below provides links to the states’ election calendars.

For comments, suggestions, additions or corrections, please contact elections-info@ncsl.org.

State Election Calendar Webpages

Alabama

Louisiana

Ohio

Alaska

Maine

Oklahoma

Arizona

Maryland

Oregon

Arkansas

Massachusetts

Pennsylvania

California

Michigan

Rhode Island

Colorado

Minnesota

South Carolina

Connecticut

Mississippi

South Dakota

Delaware

Missouri

Tennessee

Florida

Montana

Texas

Georgia

Nebraska

Utah

Hawaii

Nevada

Vermont

Idaho

New Hampshire

Virginia

Illinois

New Jersey

Washington

Indiana

New Mexico*

West Virginia

Iowa

New York

Wisconsin

Kansas

North Carolina

Wyoming

Kentucky

North Dakota

 

*For New Mexico's calendar, click on the voter guide on the right-hand side of the page. 

Summary Table

Post-Election Deadlines    
State County/Local Certification Deadline State Certification Deadline Recount: Deadlines to Initiate/Request and Complete Deadline to Initiate Contest
Alabama Noon on the second Friday after the election (17-12-15). State legislators and members of Congress: 10 days after receiving returns from counties (17-12-21).
Presidential electors: 15 days after returns are made (17-14-34).
Constitutional offices: certified by House of Representatives in next session (17-12-19).
Auto recount: must commence within 72 hours of county/state certification; completion deadline not specified (17-16-20).
Requested recount: request must be filed within 48 hours. of completion of county canvass; completion deadline not specified. (17-16-21)
State legislator: Must be commenced in county circuit court within 20 days after results certified or re-certified in the event of a recount (17-16-49).
Constitutional offices: Must be filed with the speaker of the House within 10 days after the Speaker has proclaimed the results (17-16-63).
Alaska Day after election (15.15.370). Not specified (15.15.450). Application must be filed within five days (three days for governor and lieutenant governor) after completion of the state review (15.20.430). Must begin three-to-five days after receipt of application (15.20.460).
Must be completed within 10 days (15.20.480).
Action must be brought in superior court within 10 days of state certification (15.20.550).
Arizona Twenty days after election (16-642). Deadline not specified in statute (16-650). After canvass (16.662); deadline for completion not specified. Must be filed in the court where the contest is commenced within five days after completion of canvass and declaration of results (16-673).
Arkansas Presidential electors: Eightdays after election (7-8-304(a)).
All other offices: 15th calendar day after election (7-5-701).
Presidential electors: canvassed within 20 days of election (7-8-304(b)); certified within five days of canvass (7-8-305).
Members of Congress: 30 days after receipt of results from counties (7-5-703).
Constitutional officers: certified by the General Assembly during the first week of session (7-5-705).
Must be requested no later than two days after county board declares preliminary/unofficial results (this occurs on election night), unless the number of outstanding ballots from overseas voters is enough to potentially change the results; In such case, may be requested any time before canvass is completed and results are certified (7-5-319 A contest of election results must be filed with the relevant county circuit court, or for statewide elections, the Pulaski County circuit court, within seven calendar days after the final certification of the election result. (7-5-810).
State senator: Rules and procedures are established by the senate (7-5-805(a))..
State representative: Claim must be filed with the State Claims Commission within 15 days of county certification (7-5-805(b)).
State executive officers: Contests are decided by a joint vote of the General Assembly; no deadlines are specified (7-5-806)
California Within 30 days of election (Elec. 15372) Presidential electors: 32nd day after election (Elec. 15505).
All other offices: 38th day after election (Elec. 15503 and 15504).
County level: Petition for must be filed no later than 5 p.m. on the fifth day after completion of the county canvass (Elec. 15620).
State level: Petition must be filed within five days beginning on the 31st day after the election (Elec. 15621).
Deadlines for completion not specified.
All filing deadlines relate to the declaration of results of the election or of any post-election risk-limiting audit that is conducted, and filings are made with the clerk of the superior court having jurisdiction: if the grounds relate to election crimes, six months; in case of a tie, 20 days; in cases involving presidential electors, 10 days; in all other cases, 30 days (Elec. 16401).
Colorado The 22nd day after election (1-10-103). An amended abstract is issued in the event a recount changes the original results. The 27th day after election (1-10-103(2)), Automatic recounts: must be completed by the 35th day after the election (1-10.5-103),
Requested recounts: request must be filed within 28 days of election (1-10.5-106(2)); must be completed by 37th day after election (1-10.5-106(2)),
Presidential electors: state supreme court has jurisdiction and prescribes all rules (1-11-204),
State office: notice of intention must be filed with the secretary of the Senate between the sixth and 10th days of the first legislative session following the election (1-11-205).
State legislators: notice of intention must be filed with secretary of state within 10 days of the completion of official abstract of votes cast (1-11-208(2)).
Connecticut Forty-eight hours after the polls close (9-314, as amended by P.A. 20-3-see sec. 14). Presidential electors and members of Congress: last Wednesday of November (9-315).
State officers: Certified by the General Assembly on the first day of session (9-318).
State legislators: Canvassed and declared during the month they are cast; SOS gives notice to persons elected within three days (9-319).
Recanvass in case of discrepancy: conducted within three days of election (9-311).
Recanvass in case of close vote: SOS must notify clerks upon tabulation of office that qualify for a recanvass, and the recanvass shall proceed "forthwith" (9-311a).
Both must be completed before canvass deadline.
Complaint must be brought to supreme court no later than 14 days after the election, or, if the complaint pertains to the manual tabulation of ballots as provided in 9-320f, not later than seven days after the close of manual tabulation. (9-323 and -324).
Delaware At 10 a.m. on the second day after the election (Del. Const. Art. V §6 and 15 Del. C. §5701). The governor shall, without delay, examine the returns and declare the persons elected (15 Del. C. 5710, 5711, 5712, 5713). Requested Recounts: Request must be made before the adjournment of the canvassing board. Completion deadline is not specified.
Automatic Recounts: Timing is not specified. 
(15 Del. C. 5702).
Presidential electors: Must give notice to governor and other party within 10 days of the governor’s proclamation of the vote (15 Del. C. 5902).
State legislators: Must give notice of intention to the person whose seat is being contested at least 20 days before the meeting of the General Assembly. (15 Del. C. 5901).
All other offices: Notice must be filed with prothonotary of the county in which the contest is made within 20 days after certification of the election and at least 60 days before the first day of the term of the court where the contest will be heard (15 Del. C. 5945).
Florida Noon on the 12th day after the election (102.112(2)). At 9 a.m. on the 14th day after the election (102.111(b)). Secretary of state orders automatic recounts; timing is not specified.
County canvassing boards conduct recounts and must report results to the state no later than 3 p.m. on the fifth day after a primary or the ninth day after a general election. If county board is unable to complete the recount within this time frame, it must still comply with certification deadlines (102.141(7)(c)).
Complaint must be filed with circuit court within 10 days after midnight on the date the last canvassing board empowered to canvass the returns has certified such returns (102.168(2)).
Georgia At 5 p.m. on the second Friday following the election (21-2-493(k)). Presidential electors: Governor certifies no later than 5 p.m. on the 18th day following the election.
All other offices: Secretary of state certifies no later than 5 p.m. on the 17th day following the election(21-2-499(b)
Recounts conducted when an error or discrepancy is suspected must be conducted before certification (21-2-495).
When results are within 0.5% of total votes cast for the office, recount must be requested within 2 days after certification (21-2-495(c)).
A deadline for completion is not specified.
Petition must be filed with the clerk of the superior court having jurisdiction within five days after official certification (21-2-524).
Hawaii After the expiration of the time for bringing an election contest (11-155). Deadline for bringing a contest is not later than 4:30 p.m. on the 20th day following a general election (11-174.5). Presidential electors: Not later than 4:30 p.m. on the last day in the month of the election, or as soon as the returns have been received from all counties in the state, if received before that time (14-24).
All other offices: After the expiration of the time for bringing a contest, or if there is a contest, after a final determination has been made and the time for an appeal has passed (11-156).
A recount is conducted after completion of the official tabulation and must be completed within 72 hours after the polls close (11-158). Complaint must be filed with the clerk of the supreme court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the 20th day following a general election (11-174.5).
Idaho Within 10 days after election (34-1205). (Results are certified upon completion of the canvass; date may vary.) Within 15 days after election (34-1211). (Results are certified upon completion of the canvass; date may vary.) Must be requested within 20 days after canvass; deadline for completion not specified (34-2301). Executive officers and state legislators: Notice must be filed with secretary of state within 20 days of the election (34-2108).
All other offices: Complaint must be filed with the proper court within 20 days after the votes are canvassed (34-2008).
Illinois Within 21 days of the election (10 ILCS 5/21-2). Within 31 days of the election, or sooner if all the returns are received (10 ILCS 5/22-7). N/A: state does not have a requested recount process; recounts are only conducted by court order as part of a contest proceeding (10 ILCS 5/23-23.2). Petition must be filed with clerk of supreme court within 15 days of the official proclamation of results (10 ILCS 5/23-1.2a).
Indiana Not later than noon on the second Monday following the election (3-12-5-6). Governor and lieutenant governor: General Assembly certifies (3-12-5-5) no later than the day their terms commence (Const. Art. V, §9).
Presidential electors and other state offices: No later than the second Tuesday in December (3-12-5-8).
Candidates must petition no later than noon 14 days after election; party chairs must petition no later than noon 17 days after election (3-12-11-2).
Recounts for presidential electors must be completed not later than six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors (3-12-11-19.5).
Recounts for governor and lieutenant governor must be completed before the date specified in the constitution for the beginning of the governor’s term (3-12-11-20).
Recounts for state legislators must be completed not later than Dec. 20 (3-12-11-21).
Candidates must petition no later than noon 14 days after election; party chairs must petition no later than noon 17 days after election (3-12-11-2).
Iowa Within 13 days after the election (50.30). No later than 27 days after the election (50.38). Must be requested not later than 5 p.m. on the third day and completed not later than the 18th day following the county board’s canvass (50.48). Presidential electors and members of Congress: Statement must be filed with secretary of state within two days of the state canvass (60.4). Final judgment and determination must be rendered at least six days before the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December (60.5).
Governor and lieutenant governor: Intent to contest must be delivered to the presiding officer of each house of the General Assembly within 30 days of the proclamation of results (58.1).
General Assembly: Notice of contest must be served on incumbent prior to 20 days before the first day of the next session, and filed with the secretary of state within 5 days after that (59.1).
Other state officers: Statement must be filed with secretary of state within 30 days after the incumbent was declared elected (61.3).
Kansas Second Tuesday after the election (25-3203). State Board of Canvassers meets no later than Dec. 1; deadline to complete canvass and certify results is not specified (KSA 25-3206). Must be requested by 5 p.m. on the day following the meeting of the county board of canvassers (25-3107(b)). Must be completed not later than 5 p.m. on the fifth day following the filing of the request, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (25-3107(b)). Notice must be filed with the clerk of the district court in the county where the person whose election is contested resides within five days after certificate of election is issued (25-1439).
Kentucky Noon on the Friday following the election (118.425(4)). May be delayed in the event of a recount or recanvass (117.305) No later than the third Monday after the election (118.425(5)). Must be requested 10 days after election (120.185); a deadline for completion is not specified. Governor, lieutenant governor and state legislator: Notice must be filed within 30 days after final action of the State Board of Elections; for legislators, must be filed within 15 days after final action of either the county or state board, whichever canvasses the returns. Contests are heard by the General Assembly (120.195).
All other candidates: Any candidate who received votes equal to at least 25% of the votes cast for the successful candidate may file a petition in the circuit court of the county where the contestee resides within 30 days after the election. (120.155)
Louisiana Election returns must be filed with the clerk of the court no later than 4 p.m. on the 5th day after the election. Clerk of the court must transmit results to SOS by noon on the sixth day (18:574). Within 30 days of the election (18:513). Must be requested by 4:30 p.m. on the last working day prior to the date of the recount. All recounts of absentee by mail and early voting ballots shall be held at 10 a.m. or following the reinspection of voting machines on the 5th day after the election and at any time ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction (18:1313(K)). A deadline for completion is not specified. Must be filed no later than 4:30 p.m. on the ninth day after the election (18:1405) in the district court of the parish where the state capitol is located for statewide offices, or of the parish where the district is located (18:1404).
Maine At 5 p.m. on the second business day after the election (21A §712). Within 20 days after the election (21A §722). Request must be filed within five business days after the election (21A §737-A). A deadline for completion is not specified. No contest process.
Maryland Second Friday after the election, or, if the canvass is completed after that date, within 48 hours after completion of the canvass (Elec. 11-401(c)). Board of State Canvassers convenes within 35 days of an election; deadline for completion not specified (Elec. 11-503). Petition must be filed within three days after the county results are certified; no deadline for completion is specified (Elec. 12-101). Must be filed with appropriate circuit court within the earlier of 10 days after the act or omission became known to the petitioner or seven days after the election (Elec. 12-202).
Massachusetts Within 15 days of election (54-112). Presidential electors: Within 10 days of when the records of votes are transmitted to the secretary of state, they are examined by the governor and council, who declare by proclamation the names of those elected. If no contest has been filed, the governor issues certificates of election 14 days after the proclamation (54-118).
All other offices: Not before 5 p.m. on the 15th day after the election, or after a recount has been resolved; no deadline is specified (54-116).
Local recounts: Petition must be filed by 5 p.m. on the 10th day after the election (54-135).
State recounts: Petition must be filed by 5 p.m. on the 15th day after the election (54-135).
Must file claim with a city or town clerk within 30 days after election (54-134).
Michigan Fourteen days after election (168.822). If unofficial returns show presidential results are within 25,000 votes, secretary of state may order an expedited certification for presidential electors, due on a date specified by the board between the seventh and 13th days after the election (168.842(2)) Not later than the 40th day after the election (168.842). If unofficial returns show presidential results are within 25,000 votes, secretary of state may order an expedited canvass to be completed no later than the 20th day after the election. (168.842(3)). The governor shall certify the results as soon as practicable after the canvass (168.46) Local requested recount: Must be requested within six days after completion of the county canvass (168.866) and completed not later than the 30th day following the last day for filing counter petitions (168.875) (Counter petitions must be filed by 4 p.m. on the seventh day after the filing of the recount petition; see 168.882)
State requested recount: Must be filed not later than 48 hours after the completion of the canvass; deadline for completion not specified. (168.879)
Automatic recounts: Conducted after result has been certified (168.880a)
No contest process.
Minnesota Tenth day following election (204C.37) Canvass begins on the third Tuesday after the election
Presidential electors: returns are canvassed and results declared on the day the canvass begins (208.05)
All other offices: No end date is specified; board must declare results within 3 days of completing canvass (204C.33)
Must be requested not later than 5 p.m. on the second day after completion of the canvass for the office being sought; deadline for completion is not specified (204C.35, Subdiv. 1(b)(2)) Must be filed within seven days after the canvass is completed with the district court of Ramsey County for statewide offices or with the district court in the county where the contestee resides for any other office (209.021) Time for notice of a contest for an office which is recounted shall begin to run upon certification of the results of the recount (204C.35(d))
Mississippi Within 10 days after the election (23-15-603) State officers: returns are delivered to the speaker of the House at the next session (23-15-603)
All other offices: Not later than 30 days after the election (23-15-605)
No recount process. Must file in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county within 20 days after election. (23-15-951)
Missouri Judges of election must make returns to county clerks within two days of the election; within eight days of receiving them, clerks must certify and transmit returns to the governor (128.060) Presidential electors: The governor, on receipt of the certificates from the counties which he received within 15 days after the election, shall immediately add up the vote from the counties and declare duly elected the person in each district receiving the highest number of votes (128.070)
All other offices: Not later than the second Tuesday in December (115.511)
Must be filed no later than seven days after state certification of election; must be complete within 20 days of receipt of the notice (115.601(3)) Must file with the clerk of the supreme court within 30 days after the announcement of results (115.557)
Montana Canvassing board meets 14 days after the election (13-15-401); may be postponed if not all returns are received (13-15-402) Within 27 days after the election, or sooner if all returns are received (13-15-502) Request must be filed with the secretary of state within five days after the official canvass (13-16-201). Recount board must convene within five days; no deadline for completion is specified (13-16-204) Must be filed with the district court of the county five days or less after a candidate is certified the winner (13-36-102)
Nebraska Third Monday after the election (32-1035) Officers of executive departments: Canvassed by the legislature at its next regular session (32-1039)
All other offices: Board of state canvassers meets on the fourth Monday after the election; deadline for completion not specified. (32-1037) Certificates of election must be prepared and delivered within 40 days of the election (32-1040)
Automatic recount: A recount at the local level shall be made as soon as possible after the adjournment of the county canvassing board. A recount at the state level begins at 9 a.m. on the fifth Wednesday after the election. (32-1119) Completion deadlines are not specified.
Requested recount: Request must be filed not later than the 10th day after the relevant canvassing board concludes (32-1121). Completion deadlines not specified.
State officers: Must be filed in the district court of Lancaster County within 40 days after the election (32-1102)
Nevada On or before the 10th day following election (32nd (2020) Special Session, AB 4, sec. 50) On the fourth Tuesday of November after each general election, the justices of the Supreme Court, or a majority thereof, shall meet with the secretary of state, and shall open and canvass the vote. (293.395) Deadline for completion not specified. Request must be made within three working days of county canvass (293.403); must begin within five days of demand and must finish within five days of beginning (293.405). Statement must be filed with the clerk of the district court within 14 days after the election, or five days after recount is completed (293.413)
New Hampshire No later than 8 a.m. on the day after the election (659:75) When the time for a recount or appeal has expired or when all candidates have in writing waived the right to a recount or appeal (659:84). The deadline for requesting a recount is the Friday following the election (660:1) Application must be submitted no later than the Friday following the election (660:1) The Wednesday following the deadline for application is the latest date a recount can begin. (660:4) No end date is specified. State legislators: Must be filed with the secretary of state on or before Dec. 15 (660:18).
No contest procedure specified for other offices.
New Jersey 2020 only: The county clerks' transmittal of the official November General Election results to the secretary of state, under NJSA 19:19-13, must occur on or before Nov. 23, 2020, and county clerks may not seek an extension of this deadline (Executive Order 177, sec. 17) 2020 only: The meeting of the State Board of Canvassers, under NJSA 19:21-1, shall occur on or before Dec. 8, 2020, to certify the results of the November General Election (Executive Order 177, sec. 17) Application must be filed within 17 days following the election (19:28-1). No deadline for completion is specified. Petition must be filed with the clerk of the Superior Court not later than 32 days after the election, or within 12 days after the result of a recount has been announced (19:29-3)
New Mexico No later than 10 days after the election, or 15 days for a county with more than 150,000 voters (1-13-13) Third Tuesday after the election (1-13-15). Certificates of election must be issued no later than the 31st day after the election (1-13-13(C)) Requested recount: Must be filed within six days after the completion of the canvass by the proper canvassing board (1-14-14). Date for conducting the recount must not be more than 10 days after the filing of the application for the recount (1-14-16). Deadline for completion not specified.
Automatic recount: For recounts conducted in only one county, a recount is ordered within seven days of receiving county clerk’s notice that it is necessary after completion of the canvass. Multicounty recounts are ordered upon completion of the state canvass. (1-14-24) Deadline for completion is not specified.
Complaint must be filed in the district court of the county where either candidate resides no later than 30 days after the issuance of the certificate of election (1-14-3)
New York Twenty-five days after the election (Elec. 9-214) The State Board of Canvassers shall meet on or before the first Monday after the first Wednesday after the election to canvass statements from the counties. The board may adjourn from day to day, not exceeding five days. (Elec. 2-16(2)) No recount procedure is specified in statute. No contest procedure is specified in statute.
North Carolina 11 a.m. on the 10th day after the election; county board may hold canvassing meeting a reasonable time thereafter if initial counting has not been completed (163-182.5(b)) Not more than 10 days after the Tuesday that is three weeks after Election Day. (163-182.5(c)) Certificates must be issued six days after completion of the canvass unless there is a protest pending. If there is a protest, the certificate shall be issued 10 days after the final decision of the state board on the protest (163-182.15) For ballot items within the jurisdiction of the county board: request must be made by 5 p.m. on the first business day after the canvass. For ballot items within the jurisdiction of the state board: request must be made by noon on the second business day after the county canvass. (163-182.7) No deadlines for completion are specified. A protest concerning the conduct of the election must be filed with the county board of elections no later than 5 p.m. on the second business day after the county results are certified. (163-182.9)
Contests for council of state offices and state legislators must be filed with the clerk of the House within 10 days of the issuance of the certificate of election (120-10.3)
North Dakota Before 4 p.m. on the eighth day following the election (16.1-15-25) State Canvassing Board meets no later than the 17th day after the election. (16.1-15-35) Deadline for completion not specified. Requested recounts: A demand for a recount must be made within three days after the canvass by the relevant board (16.1-16-01(3)) Recounts limited to a county must be held within eight days after the canvass. Recounts for state legislators must be held within seven days of notice, and statewide races within 14 days of notice. (16.1-16-01(4)). Deadlines for completion are not specified.
Automatic recounts: Secretary of state shall notify counties to conduct mandatory recounts within four days of the state canvass. If limited to a county, must be held within eight days after the canvass. Recounts for state legislators must be held within seven days of notice, and statewide races within 14 days of notice. (16.1-16-01(4))
Presidential electors: Must be filed with the board for trial of contests of presidential electors by 4 p.m. on the 10th day after the governor's proclamation of the vote (16.1-14-09) The time fixed for the hearing must be not less than three and not more than 15 days from the filing of the petition (16.1-14-10)
For all other offices: Must be filed in the district court in the county of the contestee’s residence within five days after the final certification of a recount, or if no recount is conducted, within 14 days after final certification (16.1-16-04)
Ohio Not later than the 21st day after the election (3505.32) State executive offices: During the first week of the session after a regular election, the General Assembly canvasses the votes, declares the results, and certifies them to the secretary of state (3505.34)
Federal offices and state offices other than executive: Not later than 10 days after the abstracts have been received from all counties, the secretary of state canvasses (3505.35).
Petition must be filed within five days after the results are declared by the relevant board (3515.02). Recount must be conducted no later than 10 days after the application is filed (3515.03). Petition must be filed with the clerk of the appropriate court within 15 days after the results have been ascertained and announced by the proper authority, or if there is a recount, within 10 days after the results of the recount have been ascertained and announced by the proper authority (3515.09)
Oklahoma If no contest shall be filed by 5 p.m. Friday next following an election, the county election boards and State Election Board shall declare the result of such election (26-8-108) After 5 p.m. on the Tuesday following the election (26-7-136). Deadline for completion not specified. Must be filed before 5 p.m. on the Friday following the election (26-8-109). The recount must begin not less than three nor more than 10 days after the petition is filed (26-8-111(8)). Deadline for completion not specified. A petition for a contest based on irregularities must be filed with the secretary of the election board with whom the candidate filed declaration of candidacy, before 5 p.m. Friday following the election. The hearing must be scheduled no less than three nor more than 10 days from the date the petition is filed. There is no completion date specified. (26-8-118)
Oregon No later than the 20th day after the election (254.545(3)) Not later than the 30th day after the election (254.555) Presidential electors: Must be filed no later than five business days after the secretary of state declares the result of the election (258.161(9))
Other offices: The first demand shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state not later than the 35th day and a supplemental demand not later than the 45th day after the date of the election in which votes were cast (258.161(8))
Petition must be filed with the circuit court of Marion County in the case of statewide races, or with the circuit court of the county where a majority of electors in the district reside, no later than the 40th day after the election or the seventh day after the completion of a recount (258.036)
Pennsylvania Unofficial returns submitted to secretary of state by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday after the election. If after five days, no petition for a recount or recanvass has been filed, or upon completion of any recount or recanvass that is timely filed, the county board shall certify the results. (25 PSA 3154(f)) Upon receiving the certified returns from the various county boards. No completion deadline is specified. (25 PSA 3159) Automatic recounts: The secretary shall order by 5 p.m. on the second Thursday following the election. Recount must be scheduled to be held by the third Wednesday following the election and must be completed by noon on the following Tuesday. (25 PSA 3154(g)(5))
Requested recounts: Any three qualified electors may petition alleging fraud or error occurred in the canvass and a recount or recanvass is conducted. Voting machines may be recanvassed at any time within 20 days after the date of the election (25 PSA 3261 and 3262)
Petition must be filed within 20 days after the election (25 PSA 3456)
Rhode Island The local board shall meet on the day following the election and shall tabulate the election returns and announce the results, but shall issue no certificates of election until the time for filing petitions for recounts (seven days after the election) has expired and, if a petition has been filed, until the petition has been finally determined (17-19-36) Immediately after completing the counting, canvass, and tabulating of the votes cast. Deadline for completion not specified. (17-22-6) Request must be submitted within seven days after election (17-19-36). Deadline for completion not specified. No contest procedure is specified in statute.
South Carolina No later than noon on the Saturday after the election (7-17-20) Board of State Canvassers convenes within 10 days of the election. (7-17-220) Deadline for completion not specified. Recount is ordered “forthwith.” (7-17-280) Must be filed with the State Board of Elections by noon not more than five days after the canvass for that office. (7-17-260)
South Dakota Within six calendar days after the election. (12-20-36) The Board of State Canvassers must convene within seven days after the election. The board may adjourn for up to 10 days for the purpose of obtaining returns from each county. The board reconvenes after any recount to recanvass the election with the certificates corrected by the recount. (12-21-39) Deadline for completion not specified. Presidential electors: May be requested at any after the election and prior to the canvass by the State Board of Canvassers (12-21-15)
All other candidates: Must be filed within three days after completion of the canvass (12-21-10 and -11)
Precinct recounts: Voters may file petition for a recount of the returns for a specified candidate or measure within 10 days after election; three-day extension of 10 day deadline for subsequent petitions for same precinct. (12-21-8). Recount must “proceed as expeditiously as reasonably possible until completed.” (12-21-20.1)
Must be commenced within 10 days after official canvass, or in the event of a recount, within five days of the completion of the recount (12-22-5)
Tennessee No later than the third Monday after the election. (2-8-101) “As soon as the returns are received” (2-8-110(a)) N/A – no recount process Presidential electors: Complaint must be filed with the secretary of state within 10 days of election and shall be decided finally and unreviewably before the last day of November by the presidential electors tribunal composed of the governor, secretary of state and attorney general and reporter. (2-17-103)
All other offices: Complaint must be filed with the secretary of state within five days after certification. (2-17-205)
Texas The last day for local canvassing authority to meet is the 14th day after the election (Elec. 67.003) Must be delivered to secretary of state within 24 hours of completion. (Elec. 67.007) Governor and lieutenant governor: Canvassed by the legislature during the first week of the session (Elec. 67.011 and Const. Art. IV §3)
All other offices: The governor shall conduct the canvass at a time set by the secretary of state not earlier than the 18th or later than the 33rd day after the election. (Elec. 67.012)
Petition must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the fifth day after the election, or 5 p.m. on the second day after the canvassing authority to whom the petition must be submitted completes its canvass, whichever is later (Elec. 212.028). No deadline for completion is specified. Presidential electors: Petition must be filed with the secretary of state not later than the 10th day after the date the election records are publicly available or the official result is determined (Elec. 243.003). The governor shall determine the outcome of the contested election and render the decision not later than the seventh day before the date set by law for the meeting of the electors. (Elec. 243.012
State legislators and state executive offices: Petition must be filed not later than the seventh day after the date the election records are publicly available or the official result is determined be filed with secretary of state (Elec. 241.003 and .002)
Utah Board of county canvassers meets no later than 14 days after the election (20A-4-301(1)(b)) If the lieutenant governor has not received results from a county on the fifth day before the state canvassing board meets, a messenger may be dispatched to demand a certified copy (20A-4-306(3)) State board of canvassers convenes at noon on the fourth Monday of November. (20A-4-306(1)). No deadline for completion is specified. Request must be filed with municipal, local district, or county clerk within seven days after the canvass. (20A-4-401(1)(d)) Deadline for completion not specified. Request must be filed in the district court of the county within 40 days of canvass (20A-4-403)
Vermont Within 48 hours of the close of the polls (17-2588(6)(C)) The canvassing committees shall meet at 10 a.m. one week after the election. They may recess from time to time until they complete their work. (17-2592(g)) Deadline for completion not specified. Petition must be filed within seven calendar days after the election. The superior court shall set the date of the recount to be 10 business days after the court receives the petition (17 VSA 2602). No deadline for completion is specified. Complaint must be filed with a superior court within 15 days of election, or if there is a recount, within 10 days after court issues judgment on recount (17 VSA 2603(c))
Virginia Not later than seven days after the election (24.2-671) The State Board meets on the third Monday in November. If a majority is not present or if, for any other reason, the board is unable to ascertain the results on that day, the meeting shall stand adjourned from day to day for not more than three days until a quorum is present and the board has ascertained the results. (24.2-679) Presidential electors: Must be filed no later than 5 p.m. on the second calendar day after the State Board certifies the election result. (24.2-801.1(A)). Must be completed at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors. (24.2-801.1(E))
All other offices: Petition must be filed within 10 days of certification (24.2-801). Deadline for completion not specified.
Presidential electors: Notice must be filed with the circuit court in the city of Richmond no later than 5 p.m. on the second calendar day after results are certified. Must be completed at least six days before the meeting of the electors and shall not wait on the results of any recount. (24.2-805)
All other offices: Must be filed with the clerk of the circuit court within 30 days after the election or within 10 days following the completion of a recount (24.2-808)
Washington Twenty-one days after a general election (29A.60.190) Not later than the 30th day after the election (29A.60.250) Requested recounts: Request must be filed within two business days after the declaration of official results (29A.64.011)
Mandatory recounts: Must be ordered within three days of certification (29A.64.021(1)(a))
Deadlines for completion not specified in either case.
Affidavit must be filed with the appropriate court within 10 days of the certification of the election (29A.68.013)
West Virginia Within 30 days of the election, or, if there is a recount, within 30 days of the completion of the recount (3-6-11) Presidential electors, members of Congress: After receiving results from county commissioners within 30 days after the election, the governor ascertains who is elected and makes a proclamation thereof
State legislators: Secretary of state transmits results to the relevant chamber, which canvasses and certifies results during its next regular session. (3-6-11)
State officers: Secretary of state transmits results to the House of Delegates, which canvasses and certifies results during its next regular session. A copy is also transmitted to the governor, who immediately tabulates the results and causes them to be printed in a newspaper. (3-6-11)
There is a period of 48-hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) between when the county canvass is completed and when the results are certified. Requests for recounts must be received during this period (3-6-9(a)(8)). No deadline for completion is specified. Contestant must give notice to the person whose election is contested within 10 days after the election is certified (3-7-1)
Wisconsin No later than 14 days after the election. (7.60(5)) No later than Dec. 1 (7.70(3)) Petition must be filed not later than 5 p.m. on the third business day following the last meeting day of the board of canvassers (9.01(1)(a)). Must be completed no later than 13 days after the date of the order directing the recount. (9.01(1)(ar)) No contest procedure; however, the results of a recount may be appealed to circuit court within five days after the recount is completed (9.01(6))
Wyoming No later than the first Friday following the election. (22-16-103(c)(1)) No later than the second Wednesday following the election (22-16-118) Petition must be filed not later than two days after the canvass has been completed (2-16-110). Must be completed 72 hours after the request. (22-16-112(c)) Presidential electors: Notice must be filed with the legislative service office within five days after results are certified (22-17-114)
State legislators: Notice of intent must be filed with secretary of state within 30 days after results are certified (22-17-110)
All other offices: Petition must be filed with district court of the county within 14 days after results are certified (22-17-102)
No deadlines for completion are specified for any of the above.

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