Senate
House
Joint
Bill Status
WV Code
Audits/ Reports
Educational
Contact
home
home

Introduced Version House Bill 2246 History

   |  Email


hb2246 intr
H. B. 2246


(By Delegates Susman, Hrutkay and Spencer)
[Introduced February 11, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §3-1C-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto three new sections, designated §3-1C-5, §3-1C-6 and §3-1C-7, all relating to securing the right of blind and visually impaired people to vote under the same conditions of privacy and independence as sighted people through the procurement of electronic voting technology and systems in accordance with certification criteria for equivalent access by visual and nonvisual means; requiring the Secretary of State to ensure compliance with this voting procedure; and providing for injunctive relief for violations.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §3-1C-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto three new sections, designated §3-1C-5, §3-1C-6 and §3-1C-7, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1C. ACCESSIBLE VOTING TECHNOLOGY ACT.
§3-1C-2. Findings.

The Legislature makes the following findings:
(1) Microchip and digital technologies are increasingly changing the way Americans vote;
(2) State and political subdivisions are replacing antiquated voting methods and machines with computer and electronic-based voting systems, but nonvisual access, whether by speech, Braille or other appropriate means is often overlooked in certifying and purchasing the latest voting technology;
(3) Voting technology and systems which allow the voter to access and select information solely through visual means are a barrier to access by individuals who are blind or visually impaired, thereby discouraging them from exercising the right to vote, the most fundamental right of citizenship in a free and democratic society;
(4) Software and hardware adaptations have been created so that voters can interact with voting technology and systems through both visual and nonvisual means allowing blind and visually impaired people to cast a secret ballot and independently verify their vote; and
(5) In promoting full participation in the electoral process, the goals of the State and its political subdivisions must recognize the incontrovertible right of all citizens regardless of blindness or visual impairment to vote; and this right must include the opportunity for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to cast and verify their ballots independently.
§3-1C-5. Requirements for accessible voting technology and systems.

(a) Upon the effective date of this section, the Secretary of State shall require (by certification or otherwise) that the voting technology and systems used by the State or any political subdivision provide blind and visually impaired individuals with access which is equivalent to that provided to individuals who are not blind or visually impaired, including the ability for the voter to cast and verify all selections made by both visual and nonvisual means.
(b) In requiring nonvisual access pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section, the Secretary of State shall obtain recommendations from representatives of blind consumer organizations, experts in accessible software and hardware design, and any other individual or organization the Secretary of State determines to be appropriate.
§3-1C-6. Existing technology and systems.
Compliance with the requirements of section five of this article, in regard to voting technology and systems purchased prior to the effective date of section five must be achieved at the time of procurement of an upgrade or replacement of the existing equipment or systems.
§3-1C-7. Action for injunction.
(a) A person injured by a violation of this article may maintain an action for injunctive relief to enforce the terms of this article.
(b) Any action must be commenced within four years after the cause of action accrues. For the purposes of this subsection, a cause of action for a continuing violation accrues at the time of the latest violation.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to secure the right of blind and visually impaired people to vote under the same conditions of privacy and independence as sighted people through the procurement of electronic voting technology and systems in accordance with certification criteria for equivalent access by visual and nonvisual means. The Secretary of State is responsible for implementation of this procedure.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

§§3-1C-5, 6 and 7 are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2014 West Virginia Legislature ****