What is CAP Preprocessing?

CAP stands for Central Absentee Precinct. CAP is located in the Fairfax County Government Center and is responsible for processing all absentee ballots.

There are two primary types of absentee ballot processes: 1)voters may request an absentee ballot and return their ballot by mail or drop box or 2) voters may vote an absentee ballot in person prior to the election (early voting).

On election day, CAP has three responsibilities for mailed-in absentee ballots and in-person absentee voting:

  • Adjudicating – evaluating the voter’s submission to determine if the voter has completely and correctly provided the required information.
  • Checking in – using the Electronic Poll Book (EPB) to verify and check in authorized absentee voters
  • Counting votes – scanning or handcounting the mailed-in ballots to determine how votes were awarded. CAP also tabulates votes from all early voting locations.

When the volume of mailed-in ballots is expected to exceed what can realistically be processed in CAP on election day, the law allows for pre-election day processing of ballots. In such a circumstance, CAP preprocessors are brought on staff.

Prior to election day, preprocessors have two main responsibilities:

  • Adjudicating – evaluating the voter’s submission to determine if the voter has completely and correctly provided the required information.
  • Checking in – using the VERIS system to verify and check in authorized absentee voters.

Note the difference between the processing of ballots prior to election day and the processing of ballots on election day. Votes are NEVER counted in preprocessing.