H. B. 2933

(By Delegates Ashley, Amores, Craig, Hall,
Stalnaker, Stemple, Talbott and Trump)

[Introduced March 8, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §3-4A-9a, relating to the authorization and use of ballot-marking accessible voting systems; and setting forth minimum requirements for ballot marking accessible voting systems.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §3-4A-9a, to read as follows:
§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 optically readable (OMR) ballot privately and independently. The ballot-marking device is capable of marking voter selections on an optically readable OMR ballot which shall be subsequently read and tallied on state certified OMR ballot tabulating and reporting systems. Counties are hereby authorized to obtain and employ ballot-marking accessible voting systems.
(b) For the purpose of this section, "voter verifiable paper ballot" means a cardboard or paper ballot which records a vote by perforation or by means of a stylus or by means of touch.
(c) The ballot-marking accessible voting device shall be a completely integrated ballot-marking device that is designed to allow direct voter ballot choices either through a high resolution visual display or through an audio function which allows voters with impaired vision to listen to ballot choices with headphones and enter ballot selections directly through specially designed, integrated accessibility keys.
(d) Ballot-marking accessible voting systems may be used for the purpose of marking OMR ballots cast in all general, special and primary elections and shall meet the following specific requirements:
(1) The ballot-marking accessible system and attendant system firmware and programming software must be certified by an independent testing authority, with an appropriate published National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) and Election Assistance Commission (ECA) certification number, according to the 2002 federal voting system standards and be approved by the State Elections Commission as usual prior to entering any contract.
(2) The ballot-marking system shall, additionally:
(A) Alert the voter if the voter has made more ballot selections than the law allows for an individual office or ballot issue;
(B) Be capable of alerting a voter if the voter has made fewer ballot selections than the law allows for an individual office or ballot issue;
(C) Provide the voter with the opportunity to change or correct any ballot selections before the ballot is marked for counting;
(D)In conformity with the federal Help American Vote Act, allow the voter to independently review all ballot choices and make any corrections, before the ballot is marked;
(E) Provide the voter with the opportunity to make a write-in ballot choice, where allowed by appropriate legislation;
(F) Allow voters with disabilities to mark their ballots, in complete independence, and in conformity with both the federal HAVA and all provisions of law concerning mandatory accessibility for disabled persons;
(G) Allow blind or visually impaired voters to vote in complete privacy;
(H) 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;
(I) Provide voters with the ability to enter all ballot selections through a high resolution visual display or through headphones, where the ballot is read to the voter;
(J) Ensure complete ballot privacy, while employing the ballot-marking audio system, while providing the voter with the option to turn off the visual ballot display;
(K) Include a completely integrated voter input keypad, using commonly accepted voter accessibility keys with Braille markings;
(L) Include the ability for a voter to employ a sip/puff device to enter ballot choices;
(M) Allow the voter to magnify all ballot choices and to adjust both the volume of the audio feature and the speed of ballot presentation;
(N) Allow the voter to employ his or her own headset as well as the headset provided with the ballot-marking device while being equipped with multiple input connections to accommodate different headsets;
(O) Have multiple-language capability;
(P) Produce a record with an audit capacity for the system;
(Q) Produce a paper record with a manual audit capacity for the system.
(e) The Secretary of State is hereby directed to propose rules and emergency rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code designed to ensure that any system employed by a county under the provisions of this section is publicly tested prior to use in election.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the use of ballot-marking accessible voting systems while setting forth minimum requirements for these systems.

This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.