One copy of the certificate of the result of the election shall be signed by the inspector and enclosed in an envelope, which shall then be securely sealed, and the inspector shall write his or her name across every fold at which the envelope, if unfastened, could be opened. The envelope, with certificate enclosed, shall be at once delivered to the judge of probate in the condition received. The judge of probate shall keep and preserve the same unopened until the canvassing board meets to ascertain the result of the election. In case of loss, mutilation, or absence of the original certificate of the result of the election by the inspectors of any voting place, the envelope shall be opened, and the copy therein shall be accepted as a certificate of the result of the election for that voting place. The judge of probate shall preserve a copy of the sealed election returns as a public record at least one year from the date of the election.