2020 Presidential General Election Ballot Canvass

Vote by Mail ballots will be opened by Election Judges beginning on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. This process is referred to as the “canvass”. The canvass process will continue daily as needed until all ballots are opened and scanned for counting. The Board will meet regularly throughout this process to consider challenges and make decisions about counting ballots referred for review.

Ballot scanning and the capture of digital images of each ballot for later tabulation will not occur until Monday, October 19, when public access can be safely accommodated at the Board of Elections office.  Results will not be tabulated or reported until Election Day.

Partial results for ballots canvassed so far will be released after 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. The process will continue after Election Day, with each day’s results added to the previous day’s total, until all ballots are counted. This process typically takes several weeks, as ballots postmarked by Election Day can still be received for up to 10 days after Election Day,

Provisional ballots cast at vote centers during Early Voting or on Election Day will be opened beginning on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. 

Instructions for Public Observation

To make arrangements to observe the canvass process in person, please call (240) 777-8549 to reserve your spot.  Masks are required and social distancing requirements must be strictly observed.

The canvass process can also be observed using a livestream. The public can observe this process by selecting the link for that day on the left on the schedule below.
The public can participate in Board sessions to discuss and take votes on the acceptance or rejection of ballots by selecting the link on the right for that day in the canvassing schedule below.

Livestreams are provided using Microsoft Teams. Unless you are a county employee, do not log in. You must join anonymously. Once you enter the meeting, you will see a window on the right where questions can be asked and will be answered by staff of the Board of Elections. You may enter your questions in the “My Questions” tab. As a courtesy, we ask that you please identify yourself when asking questions. The “Featured” tab will show questions that have been asked by others and the staff answers. If you do not see these tabs, click “Show Q&A” in the upper right hand corner.

Challenging a Ballot Remotely


Although it is uncommon, there is a procedure for a ballot to be challenged as it is taken through the canvassing process. If you wish to challenge a ballot considered by the Board, you must immediately announce that you would like to challenge the ballot. You must then scan a signed copy of the Canvass Challenge Form  and email it to elections@montgomerycountymd.gov . Once the Challenge Form has been received, the Board will take action on the ballot that has been challenged. The Challenge review will take place with the ballot on video and the discussion and review on audio. The Board’s decision will be audible on the audio and will be communicated in a reply email sent to the challenger.

Canvass Live Stream Schedule

Canvass Board of Canvassers
October 6, 2020 10:00 AM - Agenda
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
N/A
October 10, 2020 9:30 AM - Agenda
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
N/A
October 13, 2020 9:30 AM - Agenda
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
October 13, 2020 3:00 PM
Livestream Only
October 15, 2020 9:30 AM
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
N/A
October 17, 2020 9:30 AM - Agenda
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
N/A
October 19, 2020 12:00 PM – public demonstration and scanning only
Montgomery County Board of Elections
18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20879
N/A
October 20, 2020 9:30 AM  -  Agenda
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
Montgomery County Board of Elections - scanning 4 PM
(use same link for canvass to view the scanning) 
October 20, 2020 3:00 PM
Livestream Only 
October 21, 2020 Time 5:15 PM – scanning only
Montgomery County Board of Elections
18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20879
N/A
October 22, 2020 Time TBD – scanning only
Montgomery County Board of Elections
18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20879
N/A
October 23, 2020 9:30 AM 
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
N/A
October 24, 2020 9:30 AM 
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
N/A
October 27, 2020 9:30 AM 
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
October 27, 2020 3:00 PM
Livestream Only
November 5, 2020 9:30 AM 
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
N/A
November 7, 2020 9:30 AM 
Plum Gar Recreation Center
19561 Scenery Drive, Germantown, MD 20876
N/A
Additional dates TBD  
   

As of October 1, 2020.  N/A indicates that no session is scheduled that day.