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NO. 94.  AN ACT RELATING TO VOTING MACHINES.

(S.202)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  17 V.S.A. § 2478 is amended to read:

§ 2478.  NUMBER OF PAPER BALLOTS TO BE PRINTED AND

               FURNISHED

(a)  For primary elections, the secretary of state shall furnish each town with a sufficient number of printed ballots based on the history of voter turnout in the town and in consultation with the town clerk.

(b)  For general elections, the secretary of state shall furnish each town with a number of printed ballots approximately equal to 100 percent of the number of voters on the checklist for the primary election.

(c)  In the case of a town that uses voting machines, the number of paper ballots shall be ten percent of the number of voters on the checklist for the primary election.

(d)  If necessary due to unusual growth of the checklist, a town clerk may request additional ballots from the secretary of state at least 40 days before the election.

(e)(d)  For local ballots, the town clerk shall cause such number of ballots to be printed and furnished as the board of civil authority shall designate.

(e)  No voting shall occur in any general election which does not use printed ballots.

Sec. 2.  17 V.S.A. § 2493(a)(2) is amended to read:

(2)  The secretary of state shall provide for the security of voting machines at all times.  Voting machines, not including the ballot box portion, shall be locked in a vault or a secure location at all times when not in use.  The secretary of state may conduct a random post election audit of any polling place election results for a primary or general election within 30 days of the election.  If the secretary determines that a random audit shall be conducted of the election results in a town or city, the town clerk shall direct two members of the board of civil authority to transport the ballot bags to the office of the secretary of state not later than 10:00 a.m. on the morning when the secretary has scheduled the audit.  The secretary shall open the ballot bags and conduct the audit in the same manner as recounts are to be conducted under sections 2602e through 2602h of this title.  The secretary of state shall publicly announce the results of the audit as well as the results from the original return of the vote.  If the secretary finds that the audit indicates that there was possible fraud in the count or return of votes the secretary shall refer the results to the attorney general for possible prosecution.

Sec. 3.  17 V.S.A. § 2502(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Each polling place shall be located in a public place within the town. Unless all the polling places in the town or ward are located in the same building, each polling place shall be located in the voting district which it serves.

Sec. 4.  17 V.S.A. § 2532 is amended to read:

§ 2532.  APPLICATIONS; FORM

* * *

(b)  A person temporarily residing in a foreign country who is eligible to register to vote in this state, or a military service absentee voter who is eligible to register to vote in this state, may apply for early voter absentee ballots in the same manner and within the same time limits that apply for other early or absentee voters.  An official federal postcard application shall suffice as a simultaneous request for an application for addition to the checklist and for an early voter absentee ballot, when properly submitted.  Any other person also may make a simultaneous request for an application for addition to the checklist and for an early voter absentee ballot.  The provisions of this section shall apply to anyone who is not eligible to register prior to the second Saturday Monday before the day of election, but expects to be eligible on or before election day.

(c)  If the request is received by the town clerk not later than noon on the second Saturday Monday before the election, the town clerk shall mail a blank application for addition to the checklist, together with a full set of early voter absentee ballots, to the person who has applied for early voter absentee ballots. All such applications for addition to the checklist which are returned to the town clerk before the close of the polls on election day shall be considered and acted upon by the board of civil authority before the ballots are counted. If the application is approved and the name added to the checklist, the early voter absentee ballots cast by that voter shall be treated as other valid early voter absentee ballots.

* * *

Sec. 5.  REPEAL

17 V.S.A. § 2477 (requirement that ballots be fastened into blocks of 100 detachable ballots) is repealed.

Approved:  April 15, 2004



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us