Secretary of State - Voting Machines and Equipment - Certification; mandatory requirements.

Published: 2016-01-25

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(A) In examining equipment and related materials for possible approval, the board of voting machine examiners will generally consider the following:

(1) Whether the equipment can be used safely;

(2) Whether the equipment can be depended upon to record and count accurately and continuously the votes of electors;

(3) Whether the equipment has the capacity to be warranted, maintained, and serviced.

(B) No automatic tabulating equipment shall be approved by the board or certified by the secretary of state, or be purchased, rented or otherwise acquired or used unless it has been or is capable of being manufactured for use and distribution beyond a prototype and can be set by election officials to examine ballots and to count votes accurately for each candidate, question, and issue, excluding any ballots marked contrary to the instructions printed on such ballots.

(C) No voting machine shall be approved by the board of voting machine examiners or certified by the secretary of state, or be purchased, rented, or otherwise acquired, or used, except when specifically allowed for experimental use, unless it fulfills the following requirements:

(1) The equipment permits and requires voting in absolute secrecy, and shall be so constructed that no person can see or know for whom any other elector has voted or is voting, except an elector who is assisting a voter as prescribed by section 3505.24 of the Revised Code;

(2) The equipment permits each elector to vote at any election for all persons and offices for whom and for which the elector is lawfully entitled to vote, whether or not the name of any such person appears on a ballot label as a candidate to vote and for or against any question upon which the elector is entitled to vote;

(3) The equipment shall preclude each elector from voting for any candidate or upon any question for whom or upon which the elector is not entitled to vote, from voting for more persons for any office than the elector is entitled to vote for, and from voting for any candidates for the same office or upon any question more than once;

(4) The equipment shall permit each voter to deposit, write in, or affix, upon devices provided for that purpose, ballots containing the names of the persons for whom the voter desires to vote, whose names do not appear upon the voting machine and such devices shall be susceptible of identification as to party affiliations when used at a primary election;

(5) The equipment shall permit each elector to change that elector's vote for any candidate or upon any question appearing upon the ballot labels, up to the time the elector starts to register the elector's vote;

(6) The equipment shall permit each elector, at all presidential elections, by one device to vote for electors of one party for president and vice-president;

(7) The equipment shall be capable of adjustment by election officers so as to permit each elector, at a primary election, to vote only for the candidates of the party with which the elector has declared the elector's affiliation and shall preclude the elector from voting for any candidate seeking nomination by any other political party; and to vote for the candidates for nonpartisan nomination or election;

(8) The equipment shall have separate voting for candidates and questions, which shall be arranged in separate rows or column and it shall be so arranged that one or more adjacent rows or columns may be assigned to the candidates of each political party at primary election;

(9) The voting machine shall have a counter, or other device, the register of which is visible from the outside of the machine, and which will show at any time during the voting the total number of electors who have voted; and also a protective counter, or other device, the register of which cannot be reset and will record the cumulative total number of movements of the internal counters;

(10) The voting machine shall be provided with locks and seals by the use of which, immediately after the polls are closed or the operation of the machine for an election is completed, no further changes to the internal counters can be allowed;

(11) The equipment shall have the capacity to contain the names of candidates constituting the tickets of at least five political parties, and independent groups and such number of questions as the secretary of state shall specify;

(12) The equipment shall be durably constructed of material of good quality in a neat and workmanlike manner, and in a form which shall make it safely transportable;

(13) The equipment shall be so constructed that a voter may readily learn the method of operating it, may expeditiously cast the voter's vote for all candidates of the voter's choice, and when operated properly shall register and record correctly and accurately every vote cast;

(14) The equipment shall be provided with a screen, hood, or curtain which will conceal the voter while voting. During the voting, it shall preclude every person from seeing or knowing the number of votes registered for any candidate or question and from tampering with any of the internal counters;

(15) The equipment has been certified by an independent testing authority as meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements of the election assistance commission voting system standards.

(D) The examiners will use a matrix rating sheet which provides for ratings of "acceptable" or "unacceptable" on each item.