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SB487 SUB1 Senate Bill 487 History

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SB487 SUB1
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 487

(By Senators Facemyer and Lanham)

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[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;

reported March 24, 2005.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto two new sections, designated §3-4A-9a and §3- 4A-9b, all relating to electronic voting systems; authorizing use of ballot-marking accessible voting systems; setting forth minimum requirements; authorizing precinct ballot scanning devices; and setting minimum requirements.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto two new sections, designated §3-4A-9a and §3-4A- 9b, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4A. ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS.
§3-4A-9a. Authorization for ballot-marking voting systems; minimum requirements.

(a) For purposes of this section, "ballot-marking accessible voting system" means a device which allows voters, including voters with disabilities, to mark an optical scanning or mark-sensing voting system
ballot, privately and independently. Th e ballot-marking device is capable of marking voter selections on an optically readable or mark-sensing ballot which shall be subsequently read and tallied on state-certified optically readable or mark-sensing ballot tabulating and reporting systems. Counties are hereby permitted to obtain and employ ballot-marking accessible voting systems that are approved by the State Election Commission.
(b) The ballot-marking accessible voting device shall be a completely integrated ballot-marking device that is designed to allow voters to either view ballot choices through a high resolution visual display or listen to ballot choices with headphones and enter ballot selections directly through specially designed, integrated accessibility keys.
(c) Ballot-marking accessible voting systems may be used for the purpose of marking or scanning optically readable or mark- sensing
ballots cast in all primary, general and special elections and shall meet the following requirements:
(1) The ballot-marking accessible voting system, system firmware and programming software must be certified by an independent testing authority, according to current federal voting system standards and be approved by the State Elections Commission. No election official may enter into any contract to purchase, rent, lease or otherwise acquire any ballot marking accessible voting system, firmware or software not approved by the State Elections Commission.
(2) The ballot-marking accessible voting system shall:
(A) Alert the voter if the voter has made more ballot selections than the law allows for an individual office or ballot issue;
(B) Alert the voter if the voter has made fewer ballot selections than the law allows for an individual office or ballot issue;
(C) Allow the voter to independently review all ballot choices and make any corrections, before the ballot is marked;
(D) Provide the voter with the opportunity to make a write-in ballot choice, where allowed by state law;
(E) Allow voters with disabilities to independently mark their ballots in conformity with both federal and state law concerning mandatory accessibility for disabled persons;
(F) Allow blind or visually impaired voters to vote in a manner which maintains privacy;
(G) Provide voters with an opportunity to change ballot selections, or correct errors, before the ballot is marked for voting, including the opportunity to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter was otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct the error;
(H) Provide voters with the ability to view all ballot selections through a high resolution visual display or to have all ballot selections read to the voter through headphones;
(I) Ensure ballot privacy, while employing the ballot-marking audio system and providing the voter with the option to turn off the visual ballot display;
(J) Include a completely integrated voter input keypad, using commonly accepted voter accessibility keys with Braille markings;
(K) Include the ability for a voter to employ a sip/puff device to enter ballot choices;
(L) Allow the voter to magnify all ballot choices and to adjust both the volume of the audio feature and the speed of ballot presentation;
(M) Allow the voter to employ his or her own headset or a headset provided with the ballot-marking device, each ballot- marking device shall be equipped with multiple output connections to accommodate different headsets;
(N) Have multiple-language capability; and
(O) Allow the voter to verify that:
(i) An optical scan ballot inserted into the device at the start of voting is blank; and
(ii) The voted optical scan ballot that is produced by the device is voted as the voter intended.
(d) The Secretary of State is hereby directed to promulgate emergency and legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to effectuate the provisions of this section and to ensure that any system employed by a county under the provisions of this section is publicly tested prior to its use in election.
3-4A-9b. Authorization for precinct ballot scanning device; minimum requirements.

(a) For purposes of this section, "precinct ballot scanning device" means a device used by the voter at the precinct on election day or during early voting for the purpose of scanning the voter's ballot after the ballot has been voted but prior to depositing the ballot into the ballot box.
(b) The precinct ballot scanning device may be used for the purpose of scanning optically readable ballots cast in all primary, general, and special elections.
(c) The precinct ballot scanning device, firmware and programming software must be certified by an independent testing authority, according to current federal standards and be approved by the State Election Commission. No election official may enter into any contract to purchase, rent, lease or otherwise acquire any precinct ballot scanning device, firmware or software not approved by the State Election Commission.
(d) The precinct ballot scanning device shall, additionally:
(1) Alert the voter if the voter has made more ballot selections than the law allows for an individual office or ballot issue;
(2) Alert the voter if the voter has made fewer ballot selections than the law allows for an individual office or ballot issue;
(3) Provide voters with an opportunity to change ballot selections, or correct errors, before the ballot is marked for voting, including the opportunity to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter was otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct the error;
(4) Verifies that an optical scan ballot inserted into the device at the start of voting is blank; and
(5) Verifies that a voted optical scan ballot is voted as the voter intended.
(e) The precinct ballot scanning device shall not be used for tabulating election results.
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(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the use of ballot-marking accessible voting systems and precinct ballot scanning devices and provide minimum requirements for these systems.

These sections are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.)
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