Delaware General Assembly







Section 1. Amend Title 15, Delaware Code by adding thereto a new chapter to be designated as Chapter 50A to read as follows:


§5000A. Use in Lieu of Voting Machines

In any general, special or primary elections, an electronic voting system may alternatively be used in lieu of a voting machine as required by Chapter 50 of this title so long as the voting system complies with the requirements of this chapter.

§5001A. Requirements

A. Any electronic voting system may be adopted purchased or used which shall be so constructed as to fulfill the following requirements:

1. Each voting device shall have a serial number permanently attached to or stamped to the device;

2. It shall secure to the voter secrecy in the act of voting for or against as many questions as may be submitted;

3. It shall permit the voter to vote for the candidates of one or more parties, or to write in the name or candidate of his choice for any office;

4. It shall permit the voter to vote for as many persons for an office as he Is lawfully entitled to vote for, and the automatic tabulating equipment used in such electronic voting systems shall reject choices recorded on any ballot card if the number of such choices exceeds the number to which a voter is entitled;

5. It shall prevent the voter from voting for the same person more than once for the same office;

6. It shall permit the voter to vote for or against any question he may have the right to vote upon, but no other;

7. It shall permit each voter in primary elections to vote only for the candidates of the party with which he has declared his affiliation, and preclude him from voting for any candidate seeking nomination by any other political party;

8. It shall correctly record and accurately count all votes east for any and all candidates of a political party, and for or against any and all questions, and correctly record the names of all candidates written in by votes;

9 It shall be provided with means for sealing the vote recording devices to prevent its use and to prevent tampering with ballot labels, both before and after the polls are open or before the operation of the vote recording device for any election is begun and immediately after the polls are closed or after the operation of the vote recording device for an election is completed;

10. It shall provide a serialized stub number for each ballot issued to a voter to be retained by the poll worker which will show at all times during any election the total number of persons who have voted;

11. It shall be so equipped that it shall prevent the voter from voting for all the candidates of one party by the use of a single mark or punch; however, it shall be provided with a device or method for each party, for voting for all presidential electors of that party by one mark or punch.

B. Every voting device or booth shall be provided with a means of providing sufficient light to enable voters while on the voting booth to read the ballots or ballot labels. All voting devices used in any election shall be provided with side curtains and front shield to insure that no person can see or know for whom any voter has voted or is voting.

C. Electronic voting systems of different kinds may be adopted for use in different districts in the same county.

§5002A. Compliance guarantee

Before any electronic voting system is purchased, rented or otherwise acquired, or used, the person owning or manufacturing such voting device must give an adequate guarantee in writing and post a bond accompanied by satisfactory surety with the Department of Elections guaranteeing and securing that such voting devices comply fully with the requirements contained In 5001A of the title and will correctly and accurately record every vote cast and further guaranteeing such voting device against defects in workmanship and materials for a period of five years from the date of acquisition thereof, or, in the case of rented voting devices, for the period of rental.

§5003A. Use of voting devices; costs In municipal elections

Electronic voting devices may be used throughout this state in all primary, general and special elections and In all municipal elections In all Incorporated cities and towns of this state. In the event no contest exists, In municipal elections voting devices shall not be required. Voting devices may be used in elections held under the provisions of Title 14. Incorporated cities or towns, may use voting devices in the custody of the Department of Elections of the same county upon payment of all costs and expenses incident to their use.

§5004A. Number of voting devices per election district

A. In all general or primary elections every election district or polling place shall be supplied with at least one voting device for every 600 registered voters or a majority fraction thereof.

B. In all special elections every election district or polling place shall be supplied with as many voting devices as the department of elections shall deem necessary to conduct an election properly and efficiently, provided, however, that there shall be not less than one voting device for every 180 registered voters or a majority fraction thereof.

§5005A. Printing of official ballots for voting devices; adjustment of devices for ballots; distribution of ballots

A. All ballot labels and ballot cards shall be printed in black ink on clear, white material of such size as will fit the ballot frame for the general or special elections. Ballot labels and ballot cards for the primary elections shall be printed in black Ink on material colored to distinguish one party from another, providing, however, that the colors used shall provide easy readability by the voter. All ballot labels shall be secured in the ballot frame to make tampering or removal difficult.

B. The party emblem which has been duly adopted by such party in accordance with law and the party name or other designation for each political party represented on the voting device shall appear on the ballot label. The titles of offices may be arranged to the left of the candidate names and placed In booklet form.

C. Separate voting devices for each party shall be provided for the primary election and write-in voting may be accomplished on the ballot card or a separate secrecy envelope.

D. Official ballot labels and cards for voting devices shall be prepared and furnished by the departmnet of each county in the same manner as now provided by law, and shall be delivered to the department not later than 15 days prior to the next succeeding election.

§5006A. Number of official ballots to be furnished

The department shall provide and furnish 110 official ballots per 100 registered voters and retain ballot labels at the department in a quantity sufficient to repair voting devices if it becomes necessary during the course of the election, but in no case, less than 25% of ballot labels in actual use during the election.

§5007A. Substitute ballots

If the official ballots for an election district are not delivered In time for use on election day or after delivery shall be lost, destroyed, or stolen, the department shall cause other ballots to be prepared, printed or written as nearly as may be of the form and description of the official ballots, and the department shall cause the ballots so substituted to be used at the election in the same manner, as nearly as may be, as the official ballots would have been.

§5008A. Preparation of the voting devices

A. The department of elections shall cause sufficient voting devices to be delivered to the proper polling places prior to the time appointed for the election officers to report for duty. The department shall make sure that each device to be used in an election has been properly prepared and inspected.

B. The department shall mail written notices to the Chairman of the county committee of each of the two principal parties, stating the time and place at which the voting device will be inspected. Each principal political party may have one representative present during this inspection.

C. The Board of Elections shall designate at least two representatives of opposite political affiliation, other than the person preparing the devices;

1. to inspect each device to make certain it is in good working order and that the proper ballot labels have been placed in it;

2. to test each voting position for proper registration;

3. to certify such inspections and testing upon a record provided by the department.

D. The department shall cause all ballot cards to be sealed in a metal transfer carrier and the seal number recorded. Two representatives of the Board of Elections, of opposite political affiliation, shall examine each voting device and insure that each voting device is sealed with a numbered seal. They shall:

1. Certify the numbers on the voting devices and the election districts for which they are designated;

2. Certify that all voting devices are in proper working condition;

3. Certify that the voting devices are properly sealed.

E. The department shall have the automatic tabulating equipment tested to ascertain that it will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and on all questions. Public notice of the time and place of the test shall be published and the test conducted within five days of the election. The tabulating equipment shall pass the same test at the conclusion of the count before the election returns are approved. Two representatives of the Board of Elections of opposite political affiliation, shall certify that this has been done.

F. The certification rquired by this section shall be a public record in the office of the Department of Elections.

G. The Department shall require that all persons with custody of the voting devices, either for delivery or storage before and after the election shall insure the Voting devices safety and protection.

§5009A. Instruction of voters before election

For the instructions of the voters on any election day there shall be provided for each polling place on instruction model constructed so as to provide a replica of a vote recording device, and shall contain the arrangement of the ballot labels, party columns or rows, and questions. Fictitious names shall be inserted in the ballot labels of the models. Each voter upon request, before voting, shall be offered instructon by the election officials in the operation of the vote recording device by use of the instruction model, and each voter shall be given ample opportunity to operate the model himself.

§5010A. Voting devices out of order; procedure

If during the conduct of an election a vote recording device becomes inoperative, the election officers shall seal it in such manner as to prevent further voting thereon. The department shall maintain and hold in readiness a reasonable number of extra voting devices to be supplied to election districts where a voting device has become inoperative, and the department shall take reasonable steps to insure rapid delivery in such event.

§5011A. Voting device curtains: Absentee voting

Side curtains on all voting devices shall be securely fastened before being used in any election. An electronic voting system providing a method of voting absentee utilizing a ballot card may be used for all absentee voting providing it meets all requirements of the law."

Approved July 21,1982.