Connecticut Seal

Senate Bill No. 88

Public Act No. 03-7

AN ACT CONCERNING A DEMONSTRATION PROJECT FOR THE USE OF ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT FOR THE CASTING AND COUNTING OF BALLOTS AND PROHIBITING THE USE OF PUNCH-CARD VOTING MACHINES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) Notwithstanding any provision of title 9 of the general statutes, the Secretary of the State may authorize, as a demonstration project, the use of electronic equipment for the casting and counting of ballots at elections in 2003 and 2004 in at least three towns, if sufficient numbers of electronic voting machines can be obtained, provided (1) (A) the legislative body of any such town or, in the case of a town in which the legislative body is a town meeting, the board of selectmen, and (B) the registrars of voters of the town jointly approve the use of such equipment, (2) the Secretary of the State prescribes specifications for (A) the security, testing, set-up, operation and canvassing of the equipment, (B) the ballots used for the equipment, and (C) the training of election officials in the use of the equipment, and (3) different towns are used each election year. The Secretary of the State shall use her best efforts to include in the project towns from different regions of the state and having a range of population levels. No voting machine that records votes by means of holes punched in designated voting response locations may be used at any election under this section.

(b) The Secretary of the State may use volunteers to conduct an exit poll of electors concerning their experience using the voting equipment. The State Elections Enforcement Commission shall survey the volunteers and towns on the use of such equipment and shall review the results of any exit poll. Not later than January first in the year following the use of such equipment by a town, the State Elections Enforcement Commission shall submit a report to the Secretary of the State on the use of such equipment. Such report shall include the results of the survey and any exit poll regarding elector use of the electronic equipment. Not later than February first in the year following the use of such equipment, the Secretary of the State shall submit a summary of such report and recommendations concerning the use of such equipment to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to elections in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. Section 9-241 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

Any person owning or holding an interest in any voting machine, as defined in subsection (w) of section 9-1, may apply to the Secretary of the State to examine such machine and report on its accuracy and efficiency. The Secretary of the State shall examine the machine and determine whether, in [his] the Secretary's opinion, the kind of machine so examined meets the requirements of section 9-242 and can be used at elections, primaries and referenda [under] held pursuant to this title. If the Secretary of the State determines that the machine can be so used, such machine may be adopted for such use. No machine not so approved shall be so used. Each application shall be accompanied by a fee of one hundred dollars and the Secretary of the State shall not [give his approval of] approve any machine until such fee and the expenses incurred by [him] the Secretary in making the examination have been paid by the person making such application. Any voting machine company [which] that has had its voting machine approved and [which] that subsequently alters such machine in any way [,] shall provide the Secretary of the State with notice of such alterations, including a description thereof and a statement of the purpose of such alterations. If any such alterations appear to materially affect the accuracy, appearance or efficiency of the machine, or modify the machine so that it can no longer be used at elections, primaries or referenda [under] held pursuant to this title, at the discretion of the Secretary of the State, the company shall submit such alterations for inspection and approval, at its own expense, before such altered machines may be used. The Secretary of the State may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 concerning examination and approval of voting machines under this section. No voting machine that records votes by means of holes punched in designated voting response locations may be approved or used at any election, primary or referendum held pursuant to this title.

Approved April 29, 2003