The Canvassing Board is its own governing body. It is separate from either the Supervisor of Elections Office or the Board of County Commissioners.
The Jackson County Supervisor of Elections Office supplies administrative and clerical support to the Canvassing Board.
Who Serves on the Canvassing Board?
Per Florida law, the Canvassing Board is composed of local elected officials who are appointed to serve on the Board:
- County Supervisor of Elections
- County Judge
- Chair of the Board of County Commissioners or their designee
- Alternate for the County Court Judge
- Alternate for the County Commissioner
The Supervisor of Elections, County Court Judge, and Chair of the Board of County Commissioners normally make up the Canvassing Board. If a member of the Board cannot attend a meeting, one of the alternate members may attend in their place.
Members cannot serve on the Board for an election if they are a candidate who has opposition in the election being canvassed or are an active participant in a campaign. If this happens, a substitute member replaces them for that election.
2024 Canvassing Board Members
Honorable Wade Mercer, County Judge and Chair
Honorable Edward Crutchfield, County Commissioner, District 2
Honorable Carol A. Dunaway, Supervisor of Elections
Honorable Clayton O. Rooks, Alternate for Judge Mercer
Honorable Donnie Edenfield, County Commissioner, District 4, Alternate for Commissioner Crutchfield
What Does the Canvassing Board Do?
The Canvassing Board has many responsibilities:
- Certifies Logic and Accuracy testing on voting equipment. The Logic and Accuracy process is a public test of the tabulation and audit machines used to count ballots. The test ensures that voting equipment is working correctly.
- Reviews and accepts signatures on Vote-by-Mail ballot envelopes. The Board reviews signatures on Vote-by-Mail ballot envelopes to confirm that the signature on the envelope matches the signature in the voter registration system. Once the review is complete, election workers open the envelopes and use the voting equipment to tabulate the votes cast on the ballots.
- Reviews damaged and poorly marked ballots. Sometimes ballots get damaged in the mail, or voters mark their ballots in a way that the voting equipment cannot determine the intent of the voter. The Board oversees re-creating these ballots so that every vote is counted.
- Reviews provisional ballots. The provisional ballot is a back-up voting option used if a voter’s eligibility to vote is uncertain. The Board reviews each provisional ballot envelope and related documentation and votes if if it should be opened and counted.
- Certifies results of the election. The Board releases several sets of results over the course of the election. Preliminary unofficial results are released on election night, but the results will not be official for several days. The Board uses this time to review provisional ballots, count ballots from military and overseas voters, and conduct a recount, if required. The final set of results is the official version which includes all valid votes in the county.
- Conducts post-election audit. After every election, the Board audits the results. In most Florida counties, the audit examines a sample of ballots. In Jackson County, the Canvassing Board randomly selects a race and polling location in which to audit post-election.
- Conducts recounts. A recount does not mean that there was a problem or suspected fraud in an election. Instead, Florida law automatically requires a recount whenever the election results are very close. The recount process ensures that during a close election everyone can be confident that their vote was counted properly and the results are accurate. The outcome of the recount is part of the official election results. Recounts are open to the public. There are two types of recounts: a machine recount and a manual recount.
- Machine Recount. If the unofficial results show that a race was decided by ½% or less, the Board oversees a recount of the ballots by machine.
- Manual Recount. If the results of the machine recount show that that a race was decided by ¼% or less, the Board moves on to a manual recount. In the manual recount, the Board reviews all the ballots where the voting machines found either no votes or too many votes in a race. This makes certain that we count even poorly marked votes and that nothing has been missed.
When Does the Canvassing Board Meet?
At the beginning of each election cycle, the Canvassing Board holds an organizational meeting. This takes place early in each even-numbered year. Then, during each election, the Board holds a series of meetings before, on, and after each Election Day.
Once available, you can view the activity schedules below. They include dates for Logic and Accuracy tests, Canvassing Board meetings, processing of Vote-by-Mail ballots, post-election audits, and a tentative schedule for conducting recounts, if needed.
Members of the public, representatives for candidates or political parties, and members of the media are welcome to observe these activities.