The Significance Of The 1% Tally

Opinion By Linda Paine

A large segment of the voting population has expressed mild to serious concern and mistrust with respect to county voting systems, in particular voting machines and tabulators.



Even if voters consider all the methods of voting at their disposal, do their homework and weigh the advantages against the risks for each, and vote in the most educated and responsible way possible given their choices, there still is the specter of the QR codes for some, and the potentially hackable or algorithm-susceptible tabulators.

Voters are left asking themselves, “How do I know my vote counted?” or “How do I know the vote count was not hijacked by insecure systems?” or, worst of all, “Why should I even bother to vote at all?”

Their mistrust of the system is justified by the failure and refusal of some elections officials to be transparent and forthcoming to show skeptical voters why they should trust.

Fortunately, there is a legal mandate that forces elections offices to administer at least one level of public accountability, designed to test the reliability of the machine count.

It is called the 1% tally.

According to Election Code 15360:

“During the official canvass [tallying of votes] of every election in which a voting system is used, the official conducting the election shall conduct a public manual tally of the ballots tabulated by those devices, including vote by mail ballots…”

There are several options of how this is done, but basically it is a “public manual tally of the ballots, including vote by mail ballots, cast in 1 percent of the precincts chosen at random by the elections official.”

The purpose of the 1% tally:

  • The tally includes poll votes, vote by mail and provisional ballots.
  • The ballots from at least 1% of the precincts in the county are counted by hand.
  • The precincts are chosen completely at random.
  • The hand-count totals are compared with the machine count totals of the same batch of ballots.

If the results match, there is at least some reassurance that the results produced by the tabulators can be presumed to be accurate. While the procedure does not address all areas of suspicion associated with California’s very chaotic election process, it should alleviate QR code and tabulator concerns. But only if it, too, is under the surveillance of public scrutiny.

The 1% tally is happening NOW, in every county near and dear to you. Though some counties may have completed the process by now, many have not completed it, nor even begun. What better time for an Action Item?

Notice that this procedure is “public”, an opportunity for ALL citizens interested in accountability and wary of the tabulators to watch this minimal but highly telling recount.

If you have your doubts about the election system machines, now is the time to either allay or confirm them through the simple action of going to your county elections office and watching the 1% tally.

With respect to the recent Gubernatorial recall election, initial reports from EIPCa observers of the 1% tally in some counties are raising a few eyebrows.

For example, in one county that is trending approximately 60% – 40% in favor of “NO” on the tabulated recall election results, the hand count appears to be trending between 70% and 80% in favor of the “YES” side.

While this may ultimately amount to nothing – perhaps a precinct with particular uni-partisan makeup that will be balanced in the long run – these initial observations underscore the significance and importance of public oversight of this process so that it does not become one more thing that can be explained away and swept under the rug.

Citizens can and should Observe the 1% Tally

As we noted in our previous article, mistrust of the system leads directly to VOTER SUPPRESSION. And voter suppression leads to the DEATH of the Republic.

If we are not willing to devote in a small commitment of time and effort to be part of the solution, then we have very little standing to grumble, complain, criticize or deny.

Neither do we have any credibility to scoff at or revile the doubters without putting their concerns to the test.

Now is the time. Take a day or at least a few hours and be part of the rare privilege of self-governance.

Accept the invitation to observe the 1% tally in your county.

Linda Paine, President and Co-founder,
Election Integrity Project®California

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

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Finally, I am sick and tired of conservative voters cheating. It’s been proven again, and again in the Republican audits that Trump lost by a larger margin then originally reported. Then there’s all the voter fraud convictions of Republicans double voting. Let’s get this sorted out, before they try an insurrection, just kidding, they already tried that on Jan. 6, 2021.

George Pattone

Thank you for publishing this – the swamp dwellers do not publicize this and as I mentioned in the earlier article on Maricopa County results favoring Biden even more, the DVS systems have multiple potential internal control weaknesses that are explained away on the CA SOS website…
Adjudication processes in tabulation are especially troublesome, and the change in procedure in the recent recall are also troublesome…
For example, I was a volunteer poll worker for the 2016 Presidential election, and each voter ran their completed ballot thru the scanner in real time, the incremental counter was noted and THEN the ballot was placed in the bag….

This September, the ballots were placed in the bag WITHOUT BEING PROCESSED IN FRONT of the voter, which created BIG suspicions in my mind that the PROCESSING AND COUNT could be MANIPULATED IN ADJUDICATION, and Newsom’s landslide “victory” proved to me that Stalin was right…

It doesn’t matter who votes, it matters who COUNTS the votes, and HOW they count the votes….