Ballot Manifest

A key step in the risk-limiting audit process is building a ballot manifest. A ballot manifest is simply a list of all of the ballot containers and the number of ballots inside.

The ballot manifest is used by Arlo to build a list of every ballot in the election. Arlo takes the list of containers and number of ballots and creates a spreadsheet with a line for each ballot and the container that it is in. Later in the process, Arlo uses the list to randomly select ballots and tell the person auditing the ballots where to find each ballot selected.

Create a Ballot Manifest

Open a spreadsheet program and create a simple spreadsheet with two columns. The first column titled “Batch Name” is for your container name and the second column titled “Number of Ballots” is where you indicate the number of ballots in each container. Enter the data for your county or jurisdiction. When you're finished, take a second to ensure the total number of ballots matches your number of ballots cast. Then save the file as a .csv file.

Number of Ballots in Each Container​

The number of ballots stored in each container varies by state and jurisdiction. What’s important when creating the ballot manifest is to make sure the number being used is independent of the tabulator. The number of ballots tabulated is generally the right number but that number should have been independently verified on election night or after the election via a reconciliation process that includes comparing it to the number of voters.​​

All voted ballots should be included. Don’t forget provisional, UOCAVA, absentee, or other ballots counted after election day as required by law.

Ballots Further Separated in the Container​

​If ballots have been further separated in a ballot container and are clearly labeled, the separation should be included in the ballot manifest. Only do this when the batches are clearly labeled. For example, if you scanned batches of ballots in sets of 200 and placed them in a folder or wrapped them with a rubber band, and that batch has a label indicating it’s batch x in container y. Simply use a comma in the spreadsheet to indicate another separation - ex “container y, batch x."

Uploading the Ballot Manifest into Arlo

Once your ballot manifest has been created and has been saved as a .csv file, it’s ready for upload into Arlo.

Here are the steps:

  1. Using Chrome or Safari as your browser, go to the audit link provided by the audit administrator.

  2. Click Log in to your audit.

3. Enter your email address.

4. Check your email for a new email with a subject “Welcome to Arlo - Use the Code in this Email to Log In” - enter the verification code. This email comes from [email protected] or [email protected] be sure to add these email addresses to your contacts, safe sender or whitelist.

5. Select the audit.

6. Click the Browse button and navigate to the ballot manifest .csv file that you created. Once selected, click Upload File.

When the upload is successful, a message will appear at the top of the screen that says “Ballot manifest uploaded.” After you upload, if you find a mistake in your manifest, log back in and use the Replace File button to update the file.

Remember, the ballot manifest is a two column spreadsheet. The first column is titled “Batch Name” and the second column is titled “Number of Ballots.” It must be saved as a .csv file. If you are having problems uploading, verify those things and make sure there are no extra columns or rows. If you continue to have problems, please send your file to [email protected] for review.