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Introduced Version Senate Bill 642 History

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Senate Bill No. 642

(By Senators Hunter and Weeks)

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[Introduced March 21, 2005; referred to the Committee

on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §3-4A-28 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to clarifying the procedures for the sealed period of post-election custody of recording devices, ballot labels, ballot cards, program decks and standard validation test decks.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §3-4A-28 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4A. ELECTROIC VOTING SYSTEMS.
§3-4A-28. Post-election custody and inspection of vote recording devices; canvass and recounts.

(a) The vote recording devices, the ballot labels, ballot cards, program decks and standard validation test decks are to remain sealed during the canvass of the returns of the election and for a period of seven days thereafter, except that the materials and equipment may be opened for the canvass and it is to must be resealed immediately thereafter. During that a period of seven days after the completion of the canvass, any candidate or the local chair of a political party may be permitted to examine any of the materials sealed: Provided, That a notice of the time and place of the examination is to be posted at the central counting center before and on the hour of nine o'clock in the morning on the day the examination is to occur, and all persons entitled to be present at the central counting center may, at their option, be present. Upon completion of the canvass and after a seven-day period has expired, the vote recording devices, the ballot labels, ballot cards, program decks and standard validation test decks are to be sealed for one year: Provided, however, That the vote recording devices and all tabulating equipment may be released for use in any other lawful election to be held more than ten days after the canvass is completed, and any of the electronic voting equipment herein discussed may be released for inspection or review by a request of a circuit court or the Supreme Court of Appeals.
(b) In canvassing the returns of the election, the board of canvassers shall examine all of the vote recording devices, the ballot labels, ballot cards and the automatic tabulating equipment used in the election and shall determine the number of votes cast for each candidate and for and against each question and by this examination shall procure the correct returns and ascertain the true results of the election. Any candidate or his or her party representative may be present at the examination.
(c) If any candidate demands a recount of the votes cast at an election, the ballots and ballot cards are to be reexamined during the recount for the purpose of reascertaining the total number of votes cast for any candidate in the same manner and according to the same rules as are utilized in the original vote count pursuant to section twenty-seven of this article.
(d) During the canvass and any requested recount, at least five percent of the precincts are to be chosen at random and the ballot cards cast therein counted manually. Where electronic voting systems are used that utilize screens upon which votes are recorded by means of a stylus or by means of touch, at least five percent of the precincts are to be chosen at random, upon any requested recount, and the ballot images are to be printed from the internal electronic memory of the voting device and are to be counted manually. The same random selection is also to be counted by the automatic tabulating equipment. If the variance between the random manual count and the automatic tabulating equipment count of the same random ballots, is equal to or greater than one percent, then a manual recount of all ballot cards is required. In the course of any recount, if a candidate for an office demands, or if the board of canvassers elects to recount the votes cast for an office, the votes cast for that office in any precinct are to be recounted by manual count.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to cleanup the language in this section regarding the maintenance and examination of election materials and equipment.

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