SENATE, No. 29

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

211th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 19, 2005

 

 

Sponsored by:

Senator NIA H. GILL

District 34 (Essex and Passaic)

Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Mercer)

Senator WAYNE R. BRYANT

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Requires that all voting machines produce a voter-verified paper record.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 


An Act requiring that all voting machines produce a voter-verified paper record and amending R.S.19:48-1 and P.L.1973, c.82.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. R.S.19:48-1 is amended to read as follows:

    19:48-1. Any thoroughly tested and reliable voting machines may be adopted, rented, purchased or used, which shall be so constructed as to fulfill the following requirements:

    (a)  It shall secure to the voter secrecy in the act of voting;

    (b)  It shall provide facilities for such number of office columns, not less than 40 and not exceeding 60, as the purchasing authorities may specify and of as many political parties or organizations, not exceeding nine, as may make nominations, and for or against as many questions, not exceeding 30, as submitted;

    (c)  It shall, except at primary elections, permit the voter to vote for all the candidates of one party or in part for the candidates of one party or one or more parties;

    (d)  It shall permit the voter to vote for as many persons for an office as he is lawfully entitled to vote for, but no more;

    (e)  It shall prevent the voter from voting for the same person more than once for the same office;

    (f)   It shall permit the voter to vote for or against any question he may have the right to vote on, but no other;

    (g)  It shall for use in primary elections be so equipped that the election officials can stop a voter from voting for all candidates except those of the voter's party;

    (h)  It shall correctly register or record and accurately count all votes cast for any and all persons, and for or against any and all questions;

    (i)   It shall be provided with a "protective counter" or "protective device" whereby any operation of the machine before or after the election will be detected;

    (j)   It shall be so equipped with such protective devices as shall prevent the operation of the machine after the polls are closed;

    (k)  It shall be provided with a counter which shall show at all times during an election how many persons have voted;

    (l)   It shall be provided with a model, illustrating the manner of voting on the machine, suitable for the instruction of voters;

    (m) It must permit a voter to vote for any person for any office, except delegates and alternates to national party conventions, whether or not nominated as a candidate by any party or organization by providing an opportunity to indicate such names or name;

    (n)  It shall be equipped with a permanently affixed box or container of sufficient strength, size and security to hold all emergency ballots and pre-punched single-hole envelopes and with a clipboard and a table-top privacy screen;

    (o)  It shall not use mechanical lever machines or punch cards to record votes.

    All voting machines used in any election shall be provided with a screen, hood or curtain, which shall be so made and adjusted as to conceal the voter and his action while voting.

    It shall also be provided with one device for each party for voting for all the presidential electors of that party by one operation, and a ballot therefor containing only the words "presidential electors for," preceded by the name of that party and followed by the names of the candidates thereof for the offices of President and Vice-President and a registering device therefor which shall register the vote cast for such electors when thus voted collectively.

    By January 1, 2008, each voting machine shall produce an individual permanent paper record for each vote cast, which shall be made available for inspection and verification by the voter at the time the vote is cast, and preserved for later use in any manual audit, unless a waiver of the provisions of this paragraph is granted by the Attorney General for good cause.

(cf: P.L.2004, c.88, s.14)

 

    2. Section 3 of P.L.1973, c.82 (C.19:53A-3) is amended to read as follows:

    3.    Every electronic voting system, consisting of a voting device in combination with automatic tabulating equipment, acquired or used in accordance with this act, shall:

    a.    Provide for voting in secrecy, except in the case of voters who have received assistance as provided by law;

    b.    Permit each voter to vote at any election for all persons and offices for whom and for which he is lawfully entitled to vote; to vote for or against any question upon which he is entitled to vote; and the automatic tabulating equipment shall reject choices recorded on his ballot if the number of choices exceeds the number which he is entitled to vote for the office or on the measure;

    c.    Permit each voter, at presidential elections, by one mark to vote for the candidates of that party for president, vice president, and their presidential electors;

    d.    Permit each voter, at other than primary elections, to vote for the nominees of one or more parties and for independent candidates; and personal choice or write-in candidates;

    e.    Permit each voter in primary elections to vote for candidates in the party primary in which he is qualified to vote, and the automatic tabulating equipment shall reject any votes cast for candidates of another party;

    f.    Prevent the voter from voting for the same person more than once for the same office;

    g.    Be suitably designed for the purpose used, of durable construction, and may be used safely, efficiently, and accurately in the conduct of elections and counting ballots;

    h.    When properly operated, record correctly and count accurately every vote cast, including all overvotes or undervotes and all affirmative votes or negative votes on all public questions or referenda.

    i. By January 1, 2008, produce an individual permanent paper record for each vote cast, which shall be made available for inspection and verification by the voter at the time the vote is cast, and preserved for later use in any manual audit, unless a waiver of the provisions of this subsection is granted by the Attorney General for good cause.

(cf: P.L.2004, c.88, s.18)

 

    3. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill would require that each voting machine in use in the State produce an individual permanent paper record for each vote cast.

    The record would be made available for inspection and verification by the voter at the time the vote is cast, and preserved for later use in any manual audit. Such a voter-verified paper record would give voters increased confidence that their votes were counted accurately.

    Counties would be required to comply with the provisions of this bill by January 1, 2008, unless a waiver is granted by the Attorney General for good cause.

    The bill is modeled on provisions in a bill sponsored by Congressman Rush Holt (H.R.2239), introduced in May 2003.