The next business is to count the votes. The chalice is shaken to mix the papers, which are then counted into a second chalice, in order to see if they correspond in number with the Cardinals present. If they do not, they are burnt, and a fresh vote taken.
Each voting paper is taken from the chalice by the first scrutineer, who looks at the name voted for and hands the paper to the second scrutiner, who, after looking at it, gives it to the third, who reads the name aloud. All the Cardinals then make a mark against that name on their lists.
When all the votes have been read out, the papers are pierced and threaded on a string. If no one has obtained the necessary two-thirds majority, a second vote is taken, which is known as that of Accession. This is done in order that, if any candidate has received a large number of votes, any Cardinals who please may transfer their votes to him, and so bring about an election without further delay. No one can vote again for the same person, but each is obliged to hand in a voting paper, though he need not insert anyone's name in it.
The votes thus acceded are now added to those previously given, and if no candidate has secured the necessary majority, the papers are mixed with some damp straw and burnt in a small stove, placed in the chapel for this purpose. The appearance of smoke from the flue is the signal to the people outside that the Pope is not yet elected.
When, either by Scrutiny or Accession, it appears that someone has received a two-thirds majority of the votes, the papers are re-counted, and in various ways examined to see that everything is in order. Should the majority be exactly two-thirds of the total votes recorded, the papers are opened and the names of those voting in the majority examined, in order to make sure that the elected Cardinal did not vote for himself.
If all is proved correct, three Cardinals are chosen by lot to act as revisers, and these re-count and check the voting papers. When they certify that the Pope is elected, the papers are burnt, but without any damp straw.
The Secretary of the Conclave and the Master of Ceremonies are now summoned, and the Dean proceeds with them to the throne of the newly elected Pope, and asks if he is willing to accept the office. Should he consent, the canopies over all the thrones but his own are at once lowered, in token that the temporary joint sovereignty of the Sacred College is at an end.
The new Pope now proceeds to the altar and, after spending a short time in prayer, is conducted to a vestry, where he assumes the usual papal dress, after which he returns to the altar and receives the homage of the Cardinals. This is sometimes known as the "adoration," and the absurd notion has gone abroad that divine worship is paid to the Pope. It need hardly be added that this is utterly untrue.
Later, the election is announced from the balcony of St. Peter's by the Senior Cardinal Deacon, and the new Pope's first public act is to give the Apostolic Benediction to the city and the world from the loggia of the cathedral.