H1300B1760A01834 SFL:JSL 06/17/21 #90 A01834
AMENDMENTS TO HOUSE BILL NO. 1300
Sponsor: REPRESENTATIVE McCLINTON
Printer's No. 1760
Amend Bill, page 1, lines 1 through 34; page 2, lines 1
through 30; page 3, lines 1 through 25; by striking out all of
said lines on said pages and inserting
in the Secretary of the Commonwealth, further providing for
powers and duties of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and
providing for reports on implementation of elections;
in county boards of elections, further providing for powers and
duties of county boards and providing for county boards of
elections and ballot return sites;
in district election officers, further providing for
compensation of district election officers;
in ballots, further providing for form of official election
ballot and for number of ballots to be printed and specimen
ballots;
in voting machines, further providing for examination and
approval of voting machines by the Secretary of the
Commonwealth, for requirements of voting machines, for
preparation of voting machines by county election boards and
for delivery of voting machines and supplies by county
election boards to election officers;
in electronic voting systems, further providing for statistical
sample and providing for requirements of accessible voting
machines;
in voting apparatus bonds, providing for voting system defects,
disclosure, investigations and penalties;
in preparation for and conduct of primaries and elections,
providing for voter's bill of rights, for senior voter's bill
of rights and for disabled voter's bill of rights and further
providing for time for opening and closing polls and for
manner of applying to vote, persons entitled to vote, voter's
certificates, entries to be made in district register,
numbered lists of voters and challenges;
in voting by qualified absentee electors, further providing for
applications for official absentee ballots and for voting by
absentee electors, providing for supervised voting by
qualified absentee electors in certain facilities and further
providing for canvassing of official absentee ballots and
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mail-in ballots;
in voting by qualified mail-in electors, further providing for
applications for official mail-in ballots and for voting by
mail-in electors;
providing for early voting by qualified electors;
in returns of primaries and elections, further providing for
computation of returns by county board, certification and
issuance of certificates of election;
in penalties, further providing for disobeying lawful
instructions, for perjury, for false affidavits of
candidates, for refusal to permit inspection of papers,
destruction or removal and Secretary of the Commonwealth, for
refusal to permit inspection of papers, destruction or
removal and county boards of elections, for insertion and
alteration of entries in documents, removal and refusal to
deliver, for refusal to permit overseers, watchers, attorneys
or candidates to act, for driving away watchers, attorneys,
candidates or overseers, for refusal to permit election
officers, clerks and machine inspectors to act and driving
away said persons, for refusal to administer oath and acting
without being sworn, for violation of oath of office by
election officers, for peace officers, failure to render
assistance and hindering or delaying county board members and
others, for nomination petitions and papers and offenses by
signers, for false signatures and statements in nomination
petitions and papers, for nomination petitions, certificates
and papers, destruction, fraudulent filing and suppression,
for offenses by printers of ballots, for unlawful possession
of ballots and counterfeiting ballots, for forging and
destroying ballots, for tampering with voting machines, for
destroying, defacing or removing notices, et cetera, for
police officers at polling places, for peace officer, failure
to quell disturbances at polls, hindering or delaying
election officers and others, for election officers
permitting unregistered electors to vote, challenges and
refusing to permit qualified electors to vote, for election
officers refusing to permit elector to vote in proper party
at primaries, for frauds by election officers, for prying
into ballots, for interference with primaries and elections,
frauds and conspiracy, for persons interfering in other
districts, for assault and battery at polls, for unlawful
assistance in voting, for election officers permitting
unlawful assistance, for failure to keep and return record of
assisted voters, for unlawful voting, for elector voting
ballot of wrong party at primary, for repeat voting at
elections, for removing ballots, for commissioners to take
soldiers' votes, for fraudulent voting by soldiers, for
bribery at elections, for receipts and disbursements of
primary and election expenses by persons other than
candidates and treasurers, for receipts of primary and
election expenses by unauthorized persons, for contributions
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by corporations or unincorporated associations, for failure
to file expense account, for prohibiting duress and
intimidation of voters and interference with the free
exercise of the elective franchise, for failure to perform
duty, for hindering or delaying performance of duty, for
violation of any provision of act and for violations of
provisions relating to absentee and mail-in ballots and
providing for unlawful collection of ballots; and
providing for reimbursements.
Amend Bill, page 3, lines 28 through 42; pages 4 through 146,
lines 1 through 30; page 147, lines 1 through 26; by striking
out all of said lines on said pages and inserting
Section 1. Section 201 of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333,
No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, is amended by
adding subsections to read:
Section 201. Powers and Duties of the Secretary of the
Commonwealth.--The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall exercise
in the manner provided by this act all powers granted to him by
this act, and shall perform all the duties imposed upon him by
this act, which shall include the following:
* * *
(i) To obtain and maintain uniformity in the interpretation
and implementation of election laws.
(j) To provide uniform standards for the proper, accurate
and uniform implementation of voter registration laws and
records.
(k) To actively seek out and collect the data and statistics
necessary to knowledgeably scrutinize the effectiveness of
election laws.
(l) To provide technical assistance to election directors.
(m) To maintain a voter fraud hotline and provide election
fraud education to the public.
(n) To publish by December 31 of each odd-numbered year the
official instructions and procedures manual prescribed by the
secretary with the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Election
Law Advisory Board.
(o) To maintain a publicly accessible Internet website using
a ".gov" domain name, on which the secretary shall post
information required by this act. The website shall additionally
adhere to generally accepted accessibility standards, including
compatibility with screen reading software.
(p) To retain any communications relating to election
administration.
(q) To review election complaints received by the secretary
and the county boards of elections each election cycle.
(r) In addition to the requirements of 25 Pa.C.S. Ch. 15
(relating to changes in record), to seek a record of all deaths
of residents in this Commonwealth, and each month to compare the
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records with the list of electors in the Statewide Uniform
Registry of Electors, and for any elector found to be deceased,
to notify the elector's county of residence.
(s) In addition to the requirements of 25 Pa.C.S. Ch. 15, to
fully participate in the Electronic Registration Information
Center (ERIC) and to utilize all available information received
through that system and through the National Change of Address
Program to ensure the accuracy of the Statewide Uniform Registry
of Electors established under 25 Pa.C.S. § 1222 (relating to
SURE system) and the continued eligibility of all registered
electors in this Commonwealth.
(t) To receive from counties a monthly report of any newly
registered electors who were previously registered in another
state and to notify the chief elections administrator in that
state of the elector's registration in this Commonwealth.
(u) To create and maintain a tracking system for each
qualified mail-in elector or absentee elector to track the
status of that elector's application for a mail-in or absentee
ballot, the date on which that elector's ballot is prepared, the
date on which that elector's ballot is mailed, the date on which
that elector's ballot is received and the date on which that
elector's ballot is pre-canvassed or canvassed.
Section 2. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 209. Reports on Implementation of Elections.--(a)
No later than 90 days after an election, the Bureau of
Commissions, elections and legislation of the Department of
State shall issue a report to the chair and minority chair of
the State Government Committee of the Senate and the chair and
minority chair of the State Government Committee of the House of
Representatives. A copy of the report shall also be made
available on the Department of State's publicly accessible
Internet website.
(b) The report under subsection (a) shall include only the
following information relating to the administration of the
election by the Department of State, a county board of elections
or a registration commission established under 25 Pa.C.S. §
1203(a) (relating to commissions):
(1) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of applications for an absentee ballot which were
received by the county board of elections.
(2) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of applications for a mail-in ballot which were received
by the county board of elections.
(3) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of applications for an absentee ballot which were
approved by the county board of elections.
(4) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of applications for a mail-in ballot which were approved
by the county board of elections.
(5) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of absentee ballots which were voted by qualified
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electors.
(6) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of mail-in ballots which were voted by qualified
electors.
(7) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of provisional ballots cast under section 1210(a.4).
(8) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of qualified electors voting by a provisional ballot
under section 1306(b)(2).
(9) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of qualified electors voting by provisional ballot under
section 1306-D(b)(2).
(10) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of provisional ballots under paragraph (7) which were
canvassed.
(11) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of provisional ballots under paragraph (8) which were
canvassed.
(12) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of provisional ballots under paragraph (9) which were
canvassed.
(13) (Reserved).
(14) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of polling places in school buildings.
(15) For each county, the date, starting time and ending
time that the county board of elections met to pre-canvass
absentee ballots and mail-in ballots under section 1308(g)(1.1).
(16) For each county, the date, starting time and ending
time that the county board of elections met to canvass absentee
ballots and mail-in ballots under section 1308(g)(2).
(17) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of absentee ballots which were challenged under section
1302.2(c).
(18) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of mail-in ballots which were challenged under section
1302.2-D(a)(2).
(19) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of absentee ballots subject to challenges under paragraph
(17) which were not canvassed.
(20) For each county and the sum for this Commonwealth, the
number of mail-in ballots subject to challenges under paragraph
(18) which were not canvassed.
(21) The number of incidents known to the Department of
State, county boards of elections or registration commissions
relating to each of the following categories:
(i) An absentee ballot or mail-in ballot which was sent to
the wrong individual or wrong address.
(ii) An absentee ballot or mail-in ballot which was voted by
an individual other than the individual who applied for the
absentee ballot or mail-in ballot.
(iii) An absentee ballot or mail-in ballot which was
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returned to the county board of elections by a means other than
permitted by law.
(22) To the extent consistent with Federal and State law, a
review of any action taken by the Department of State, county
board of elections or registration commissions in response to an
incident under paragraph (21), including determinations made on
the incident, legal actions filed and referrals to law
enforcement.
(23) A review of issues or incidents encountered with an
electronic voting system that received the approval of the
Secretary of the Commonwealth under section 1105-A, including
technical issues encountered at polling places.
(c) The Department of State shall develop a process to
collect data required to be included in the report under
subsection (b) from each county board of elections which
conducts an election and each registration commission under 25
Pa.C.S. Pt. IV (relating to voter registration) in a county
which conducts an election, as applicable. A county board of
elections or registration commission under this subsection shall
comply with the process for submission of data under this
subsection no later than 45 days after an election.
Section 3. Section 302(k) and (m) of the act are amended and
the section is amended by adding subsections to read:
Section 302. Powers and Duties of County Boards.--The county
boards of elections, within their respective counties, shall
exercise, in the manner provided by this act, all powers granted
to them by this act, and shall perform all the duties imposed
upon them by this act, which shall include the following:
* * *
(k) To receive from district election officers the returns
of all primaries and elections, to canvass and compute the same,
and to certify, no later than the [third Monday] fourth Friday
following the primary or election, the results thereof to the
Secretary of the Commonwealth, as may be provided by law, and to
such other authorities as may be provided by law. The
certification shall include the number of votes received in each
election district by each candidate for the General Assembly.
* * *
(m) To prepare and submit, within twenty days after the last
day to register to vote in each primary, municipal and general
election, a report to the Secretary of the Commonwealth in the
form prescribed by him, which shall contain a statement of the
total number of electors registered in each election district,
together with a breakdown of registration by each political
party or other designation. Copies of said statement shall be
furnished, upon request, to the county chairman of each
political party and political body and shall be posted to the
county board of election's publicly accessible Internet website.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall forthwith submit such
information to the Legislative Data Processing Center and shall
publicly report the total number of registered electors for each
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political party or other designation in each county not later
than five days prior to the primary, municipal or general
election.
* * *
(q) To maintain a publicly accessible Internet website using
a "gov" domain name. The website shall additionally adhere to
generally accepted accessibility standards, including
compatibility with screen reading software.
(r) To provide each election district with at least one
accessible voting machine approved by the secretary under this
act.
(s) To publish at each polling place the voter bill of
rights, senior voter bill of rights and disabled voter bill of
rights established by this act.
(t) To provide copies of the voter bill of rights, senior
voter bill of rights and disabled voter bill of rights during
the process of supervised voting established by this act.
(u) To review any polling place where voters waited longer
than thirty minutes to cast a ballot and to identify and enact
plans to alleviate waiting time for future elections.
(v) For counties with a population of fewer than 100,000 at
the time of the most recent Federal decennial census, to
collaborate with other counties to share resources or property
required for the administration of voting by absentee and mail-
in electors. The collaboration is not required and participation
in any resource sharing shall be at the discretion of each
county board.
(w) To cooperate with the Department of State to any degree
necessary in the creation of the system required under section
201(u).
Section 4. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 313. Ballot Return Sites and Secure Receptacles.--In
addition to the permanent offices operated by a county board of
elections, the county board may establish multiple ballot return
locations, including access to secure ballot return receptacles,
where electors may return their completed ballot. The following
shall apply:
(a) Sites may include, but shall not be limited to, city and
municipal facilities, public libraries, county facilities or
other locations designated by the county board of elections to
receive ballots. The Secretary of the Commonwealth, in
collaboration with the counties, shall issue minimum criteria
for considering locations to ensure availability and access to
electors.
(b) A list of the ballot return sites and county election
offices, including the dates and hours of operation, shall be
available to the public as early as possible by providing notice
of the county ' s ballot return plan in the county elections
office, in a highly visible location on the county ' s website and
at other such locations as the county board deems appropriate
for maximum notification to voters. The notice posted on the
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county ' s website shall be in a format that is accessible for
people with disabilities. In the event of any changes to site
location operations, the county board of elections shall post
the updated information on the official election website within
twenty-four hours. The notice shall include, at a minimum:
(1) Ballot return deadline.
(2) List of county election offices and ballot return sites,
including building names and street addresses.
(3) Days and hours of operation, including election day
hours.
(4) Contact information for the county board of elections.
(5) Accessibility information, including a list of ballot
return sites and secure receptacles that meet accessibility
requirements.
(c) All ballot return sites shall be accessible at least
during regular business hours beginning not less than thirty
days prior to an election and on the day of an election. County
boards may offer business hours outside of regular business
hours, including weeknights or weekends to enable maximum
accessibility for voters in compliance with this act.
(d) All ballot return sites shall have the same features and
be of substantially similar design, color scheme and signage to
facilitate easy identification by the public.
(e) A ballot return site may have a secure receptacle that
permits voters to return their completed ballot. A postage stamp
is not required on the return envelope when depositing a
completed ballot at a ballot return site or a secure receptacle.
(f) Secure receptacles shall be designed to function as
follows:
(1) Hardware shall be operable without any tight grasping,
pinching, or twisting of the wrist.
(2) Hardware shall require no more that five pounds of
pressure for the voter to operate.
(3) Operable within reach-range of fifteen to forty-eight
inches from the floor or ground for a person utilizing a
wheelchair.
(4) Provide specific points identifying the slot where
completed ballots are to be inserted.
(5) Ensure that only ballot material can be deposited and
not be removed by anyone but designated county board of election
officials. This includes confirming that the opening slot of the
secure receptacle is too small to allow tampering or removal of
ballots, but is not so small to interfere with depositing
completed ballots.
(6) Ensure that the opening slot minimizes the ability for
liquid to be poured into the secure receptacle or rainwater to
seep inside.
(g) The secure receptacle shall be securely fastened to a
stationary surface, to an immovable object or placed behind a
counter.
(h) The county board of election shall determine the size of
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the secure receptacle based on the use and needs of the
location.
(i) Each ballot return site shall be marked with official
signage designating the site. Signage shall adhere to the
following:
(1) Be in all languages required under the Voting Rights Act
of 1965 (Public Law 89-110, 52 U.S.C. § 10301 et seq.).
(2) Display language stating that counterfeiting, forging,
tampering with or destroying ballots is a misdemeanor of the
second degree under sections 1816 and 1817.
(3) Provide a statement that third-party return of ballots
is prohibited unless provided for under this act or Federal or
State law.
(4) Provide a statement requesting that the designated
county elections official be notified immediately in the event a
secure receptacle is full, not functioning or is damaged in any
fashion. The statement shall include a telephone number and
email address for notification purposes.
(j) For security purposes, county boards of election shall
comply with the following when establishing secure receptacles
and ballot return sites:
(1) Only county board of elections personnel shall have
access to the completed ballots within a secure receptacle.
(2) Secure receptacles shall be secured in a manner to
prevent their unauthorized removal of ballots.
(3) All secure receptacles shall be secured by a lock and
sealed with a tamper-evident seal.
(4) Secure receptacles shall be securely fastened in a
manner as to prevent moving or tampering.
(5) During the hours when the ballot return site is closed
or otherwise unstaffed, the secure receptacle shall be places in
a secure area that is inaccessible to the public or otherwise
safeguarded.
(6) Adequate lighting shall be provided at all ballot return
sites when the sites is open and in use.
(7) All secure receptacles and ballot return sites shall be
monitored by a video security surveillance system or an internal
camera that can capture digital images or video. A video
security surveillance system may include existing systems on
county, city, municipal or private buildings. Video surveillance
shall be retained by the county election office through 60 days
following the deadline to certify an election.
(8) The secure receptacle at a ballot return site located
outdoors shall be constructed of durable material able to
withstand vandalism, removal and inclement weather to prevent
physical damage and unauthorized entry.
(k) Ballots returned to a ballot return site shall be
collected promptly by an authorized county board personnel at
times determined by the county board, but at a minimum of every
24 hours every weekday.
(l) County board personnel designated to collect completed
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ballots shall sign a declaration affirming that the official
personnel will timely and securely collect and return the
ballots in the secure ballot transfer container, will not permit
any person to tamper with a ballot return site, secure
receptacle or its contents, and that they will faithfully and
securely perform their duties.
(m) Ballots collected from any ballot return site or secure
receptacle shall be immediately transported to the county board
of elections where, upon arrival, the county board shall note
the time of arrival and number of ballots.
(n) The department shall promulgate rules and regulations to
implement this section.
(o) For the purposes of this section, " secure receptacle "
shall have the same meaning as a " ballot drop box " .
Section 5. Sections 412.2(a) and (f) and 1003(f) of the act
are amended and the sections are amended by adding subsections
to read:
Section 412.2. Compensation of District Election Officers.--
(a) In all counties regardless of class, judges of election,
inspectors of election, clerks and machine operators shall be
paid compensation as fixed by the county board of elections for
each election, which amount shall be at least [$75] $175 and not
more than [$200] $300.
* * *
(f) The individual furnishing transportation to the judge of
election and the minority inspector in transmitting returns and
ballot boxes shall be entitled to [a minimum of 35¢] the
standard mileage rate set by the Internal Revenue Service for
the current year per circular mile from the polling place to the
county court house. The name of the individual shall appear on
the voucher of the judge of election and only one individual may
receive mileage compensation.
* * *
(j) The Department of State shall reimburse counties for
half the cost of payments made under subsections (a) and (f).
Section 1003. Form of Official Election Ballot.--
* * *
[(f) In order that each elector may have the opportunity of
designating his choice for all the candidates nominated by one
political party or political body, there shall be printed on the
extreme left of the ballot, and separated from the rest of the
ballot by a space of at least one-half inch, a list of the names
of all the political parties or political bodies represented on
such ballot which have nominated candidates to be voted for at
such election. Such names shall be arranged in the order of the
votes obtained at the last gubernatorial election by the
candidate for Governor of the parties or bodies nominating,
beginning with the party that received the highest number of
votes cast. Following the names of such political parties and
political bodies shall be the names of the parties and bodies
not represented on the ballot at the last gubernatorial
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election, arranged alphabetically, according to the party name
or appellation. A square of sufficient size for the convenient
insertion of a cross mark shall be placed at the right of each
party name or appellation.]
* * *
(h) The official ballots shall be printed on paper of the
correct size for the machines used by a county and watermarked
with the name of the county in which the ballots shall be used.
Section 6. Section 1007(a) of the act is amended to read:
Section 1007. Number of Ballots to Be Printed; Specimen
Ballots.--(a) The county board of each county shall provide for
each election district a supply of official election ballots
for:
[(1) the general primary election held in even-numbered
years in which candidates for the office of President of the
United States are not nominated in an amount of at least 10%
greater than the highest number of ballots cast in the election
district in any of the previous three general primary elections
at which candidates for the office of President of the United
States were not nominated;
(2) the general primary election held in even-numbered years
in which candidates for the office of President of the United
States are nominated in an amount of at least 15% greater than
the highest number of ballots cast in the election district in
any of the previous three general primary elections at which
candidates for the office of President of the United States were
nominated;
(3) the municipal primary election held in odd-numbered
years in an amount of at least 10% greater than the highest
number of ballots cast in any of the previous three municipal
primary elections in the election district;
(4) the general election held in even-numbered years in
which candidates for the office of President of the United
States are not elected in an amount of at least 10% greater than
the highest number of ballots cast in the election district in
any of the previous three general elections at which candidates
for the office of President of the United States were not
elected;
(5) the general election held in even-numbered years in
which candidates for the office of President of the United
States are elected in an amount of at least 15% greater than the
highest number of ballots cast in the election districts in any
of the previous three general elections at which candidates for
the office of President of the United States were elected; and
(6) the municipal election held in odd-numbered years in an
amount of at least 10% greater than the highest number of
ballots cast in any of the previous three municipal elections in
the election district.]
(1.1) Any primary election, 50% of the registered electors
in an election district, less the number of electors in the
district who have requested an absentee ballot or mail-in
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ballot.
(1.2) Any general election, 100% of the registered electors
in an election district, minus the number of electors in the
district who have requested an absentee ballots or mail-in
ballot.
* * *
Section 7. Sections 1106, 1107 and 1111 of the act are
amended by adding subsections to read:
Section 1106. Examination and Approval of Voting Machines by
the Secretary of the Commonwealth.--
* * *
(g) Examination shall include, but is not limited to,
testing of all software required for the voting system's
operation, the ballot reader, the digital printer, the fail-safe
operations, the counting center environmental requirements and
the equipment reliability estimate.
(h) For the purposes of examining the system, the Secretary
of the Commonwealth shall employ or contract for the services of
at least one individual who is an expert in one or more fields
of data processing, mechanical engineering and public
administration and shall require from the individual a written
report of the individual's examination.
(i) Within 30 days after completing the examination and upon
approval of any electronic or electromechanical voting system,
the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall make and maintain a
report on the system, together with a written or printed
description and drawings and photographs clearly identifying the
system and the operation thereof. As soon as practicable after
the filing, the Department of State shall send a notice of
certification and upon request, a copy of the report to county
boards in this Commonwealth.
(j) After a voting system has been approved by the Secretary
of the Commonwealth, any change or improvement in the system
must be approved by the Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to
the adoption of the change or improvement by a county. If the
change or improvement does not comply with the requirements of
this act, the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall suspend sales
of the equipment or system in this Commonwealth until the
equipment or system complies with the requirements of this act.
(k) The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall examine and
approve at least two accessible voting machines which meet the
requirements of section 1107-A.
(l) The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall examine and
approve all electronic or electromechanical devices used in the
casting, processing or tabulation of ballots or in the recording
of electors, including, but not limited to, ballot sorters,
envelope extractors and ballot scanners.
(m) The examination and approval under subsection (l) shall
ensure that the device conforms with standards to provide
timeliness and accuracy in the casting and counting of ballots
or in the recording of electors.
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Section 1107. Requirements of Voting Machines.--No voting
machine shall, upon any examination or reexamination, be
approved by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, or by any
examiner appointed by him, unless it shall, at the time, satisfy
the following requirements:
* * *
(u) It shall immediately reject a ballot if the number of
votes for an office or question exceeds the number which the
elector is entitled to cast or where the tabulating equipment
reads the ballot as a ballot with no votes cast.
(v) It shall be capable of providing records from which the
operation of the voting system may be audited.
(w) It shall be capable of recording votes from ballots of
different political parties from the same precinct, for a
primary election.
(x) It shall be manufactured in the United States and sold
by a vendor with a primary place of business within the United
States.
(y) It shall fully comply with the most recently adopted
Voluntary Voting System Guidelines developed by the Election
Assistance Commission.
(z) It shall retain ballots cast in the order in which the
ballots are cast, so that a direct comparison may be made
between the machine interpretation of an individual ballot and a
human interpretation of the same ballot.
(z.1) The requirements of subsections (u), (v), (w), (x),
(y) and (z) shall apply only to machines newly examined or
approved by the Secretary of the Commonwealth after 2024.
Section 1111. Preparation of Voting Machines by County
Election Boards.--
* * *
(g) On any day not more than twenty-five days before the
commencement of voting, the county election board shall have the
automatic tabulating equipment publicly tested to ascertain if
the equipment will correctly count the votes cast for all
offices and on all measures. If the ballots to be used at the
polling place on election day are not available at the time of
the testing, the county election board may conduct an additional
test not more than ten days before election day. Public notice
of the time and place of the test shall be given at least forty-
eight hours prior to the test by publication on the county
election board's publicly accessible Internet website and once
in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county
or, if there is no newspaper of general circulation in the
county, by posting the notice in at least four conspicuous
places in the county. The county election board shall provide
written notice to each candidate for election of the time and
location of the public preelection test. The test shall be open
to representatives of the political parties, the press and the
public and shall be video recorded and broadcast simultaneously
on a publicly accessible Internet website. Each political party
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may designate one person with expertise in the computer field
who shall be allowed in the central counting room when tests are
being conducted and when the official votes are being counted.
The designee shall not interfere with the normal operation of
the canvassing board.
(h) For electronic or electromechanical voting systems
configured to tabulate mail-in ballots or absentee ballots at a
central or regional site, the public testing shall be conducted
by processing a preaudited group of ballots so produced as to
record a predetermined number of valid votes for each candidate
and on each measure and to include one or more ballots for each
office which have activated voting positions in excess of the
number allowed by law in order to test the ability of the
automatic tabulating equipment to reject the votes. If an error
is detected, the cause of the error shall be corrected and an
errorless count shall be made before the automatic tabulating
equipment is approved. The test shall be repeated and errorless
results must be achieved immediately before the start of the
official count of the ballots and again after the completion of
the official count. The programs and ballots used for testing
shall be sealed and retained under the custody of the county
election board.
(i) For electronic or electromechanical voting systems
configured to include electronic or electromechanical tabulation
devices which are distributed to the precincts, all or a sample
of the devices to be used in the election shall be publicly
tested. If a sample is to be tested, the sample shall consist of
a random selection of at least ten per cent of the devices. The
test shall be conducted by processing a group of ballots,
causing the device to output results for the ballots processed
and comparing the output of results to the results expected for
the ballots processed. The group of ballots shall be produced so
as to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each
candidate and on each measure and to include for each office one
or more ballots which have activated voting positions in excess
of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability of the
tabulating device to reject such votes.
(j) If a tested tabulating device is found to have an error
in tabulation, it shall be deemed unsatisfactory. For each
device deemed unsatisfactory, the county election board shall
take steps to determine the cause of the error, shall attempt to
identify and test other devices that could reasonably be
expected to have the same error and shall test a number of
additional devices sufficient to determine that each device is
satisfactory. Upon deeming a device unsatisfactory, the county
election board may require all devices to be tested or may
declare that all devices are unsatisfactory.
(k) If the operation or output of any tested tabulation
device, such as spelling or the order of candidates on a report,
is in error, the problem shall be reported to the county
election board, which shall determine if the reported problem
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warrants the county election board deeming the device
unsatisfactory.
(l) At the completion of testing under this section, the
county election board, the representatives of the political
parties and the candidates or their representatives who attended
the test shall witness the resetting of each device that passed
to a preelection state of readiness and the sealing of each
device that passed in such a manner as to secure its state of
readiness until the opening of the polls.
(m) The county election board shall execute a written
statement setting forth the tabulation devices tested, the
results of the testing, the protective counter numbers, if
applicable, of each tabulation device, the number of the seal
securing each tabulation device at the conclusion of testing,
any problems reported to the county election board as a result
of the testing and whether each device tested is satisfactory or
unsatisfactory.
(n) Any tabulating device deemed unsatisfactory shall be
recoded, repaired or replaced and shall be made available for
retesting. The device must be determined by the county election
board to be satisfactory before the device may be used in an
election. The county election board shall announce at the close
of the first testing the date, place and time that an
unsatisfactory device will be retested or may, at the option of
the county election board, notify by telephone each person who
was present at the first testing as to the date, place and time
that the retesting will occur.
(o) Records must be kept of all preelection testing of
electronic or electromechanical tabulation devices used in an
election. The records shall be present and available for
inspection and reference during public preelection testing by
any person in attendance during the testing. The need of the
county election board for access to the records during the
testing shall take precedence over the need of other attendees
to access such records so that the work of the county election
board will not be delayed or hindered. Records of testing must
include, for each device, the name of each person who tested the
device and the date, place, time and results of each test.
Records of testing shall be retained as part of the official
records of the election in which any device was used.
(p) The county election board shall submit a copy of all
records required under this section to the Office of the Auditor
General.
Section 8. Sections 1112(c)1 and 1117-A of the act are
amended to read:
Section 1112. Delivery of Voting Machines and Supplies by
County Election Boards to Election Officers.--
* * *
(c) The county election board shall furnish, at the expense
of the county, and deliver with each voting machine:
1. A lantern, [or a] flashlight or other proper substitute
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[for one], which, in case of a loss of electricity, shall give
sufficient light to enable voters, while in the voting machine
booth, to read the ballot labels, and suitable for the use of
election officers in examining the counters. The lantern, [or]
flashlight or other proper substitute therefor, shall be
prepared and in good order for use before the opening of the
polls.
* * *
Section 1117-A. [Statistical Sample.--The county board of
elections, as part of the computation and canvass of returns,
shall conduct a statistical recount of a random sample of
ballots after each election using manual, mechanical or
electronic devices of a type different than those used for the
specific election. The sample shall include at least two (2) per
centum of the votes cast or two thousand (2,000) votes whichever
is the lesser.] Risk-limiting Audit.--(a) The Department of
State, in conjunction with the county boards of elections, shall
conduct risk-limiting audits after each primary, general,
municipal and special elections completed by the third Friday
following the election in accordance with the requirements of
this section.
(b) The audit shall be conducted as follows:
(1) The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall randomly
determine what contests shall be subject to a risk-limiting
audit;
(2) The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall provide notice
of the time and place of the random selection of the audit units
to be manually tallied and of the times and places of the
audits;
(3) The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall make available
to the public a report of the vote-tabulating device results for
the contest, including the results for each audit unit in the
contest, prior to the random selection of audit units to be
manually tallied and prior to the commencement of the audit;
(4) The Secretary of the Commonwealth, in conjunction with
the county board of elections, shall conduct the audit upon the
tabulation of the unofficial returns; and
(5) The Secretary of the Commonwealth, in conjunction with
the county board of elections, shall conduct the audit in public
view by manually interpreting the ballots according to rules
established by the secretary.
(c) If a risk-limiting audit of a contest leads to a full
manual tally of the ballots cast using the voting system, the
vote counts according to that manual tally shall replace the
vote.
(d) The results of audits conducted under this section shall
be published on the website of the Department of State within
forty-eight hours of being accepted by the Secretary of the
Commonwealth. If the audit involved a manual tally of one or
more entire precincts, then the names and numbers of all
precincts audited and a comparison of the vote tabulator results
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with the hand counts for each precinct shall be published with
the audit results on the Department of State's publicly
accessible Internet website.
(e) Any audit required under this section shall not commence
for any election subject to a recount until the conclusion of
the recount.
(f) The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall promulgate
rules, regulations and procedures as necessary to implement this
section.
(g) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall
have the following meanings:
"Audit unit" means a precinct, a set of ballots or a single
ballot. A precinct, a set of ballots or a single ballot may be
used as an audit unit for purposes of the section only if all of
the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) the relevant vote-tabulating device is able to produce a
report of the votes cast in the precinct, set of ballots or
single ballot; and
(2) each ballot is assigned to not more than one audit unit.
"Contest" means and election for an office.
"Risk-limiting audit" means a manual tally employing a
statistical method that ensures a large, predetermined minimum
chance of requiring a full manual tally when a full manual tally
would show an electoral outcome that differs from the outcome
reported by the vote-tabulating system for the audited contest.
A risk-limiting audit shall begin with a hand tally of the votes
in one or more audit units and shall continue to hand tally
votes in additional audit units until there is strong
statistical evidence that the electoral outcome is correct. In
the event that counting additional audit units does not provide
strong statistical evidence that the electoral outcome is
correct, the audit shall continue until there has been a full
manual tally to determine the correct electoral outcome of the
audited contest.
Section 9. The act is amended by adding sections to read:
Section 1123-A. Requirements of Accessible Voting
Machines.--An accessible voting machine may not, upon any
examination or reexamination, be approved by the Secretary of
the Commonwealth, or by an examiner appointed by the secretary,
unless the accessible voting devices satisfies the following
requirements:
(1) The voting system must provide a tactile input or audio
input device, or both.
(2) The voting system must provide a method by which voters
can confirm any tactile or audio input by having the capability
of audio output using synthetic or recorded human speech that is
reasonably phonetically accurate.
(3) Any operable controls on the input voting device which
are needed for voters who are visually impaired must be
discernible in a tactile manner without actuating the keys.
(4) Audio and visual access approaches must be able to work
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both separately and simultaneously.
(5) If a nonaudio access approach is provided, the system
may not require color perception. The system must use black text
or graphics, or both, on white background or white text or
graphics, or both, on black background, unless the office of the
Secretary of the Commonwealth approves other high-contrast color
combinations that do not require color perception.
(6) A voting system that requires any visual perception must
offer the election official who programs the voting system,
prior to its being sent to the polling place, the capability to
set the font size, as it appears to the voter, from a minimum of
fourteen points to a maximum of twenty-four points.
(7) The voting system must provide audio information,
including any audio output using synthetic or recorded human
speech or any auditory feedback tones that are important for the
use of the audio approach, through at least one mode, by handset
or headset, in enhanced auditory fashion through increased
amplification, and must provide incremental volume control with
output amplification up to a level of at least 97 db spl.
(8) For transmitted voice signals to the voter, the voting
system must provide a gain adjustable up to a minimum of 20 db
spl with at least one intermediate step of 12 db spl of gain.
(9) For the safety of others, if the voting system has the
possibility of exceeding 120 db spl, a mechanism must be
included to reset the volume automatically to the voting
system's default volume level after every use.
(10) If sound cues and audible information such as beeps are
used, there must be simultaneous corresponding visual cues and
information.
(11) Controls and operable mechanisms must be operable with
one hand, including operability with a closed fist and operable
without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.
(12) The force required to operate or activate the controls
must be no greater than five pounds of force.
(13) Voting booths must have voting controls at a minimum
height of thirty-six inches above the finished floor with a
minimum knee clearance of twenty-seven inches high, thirty
inches wide and nineteen inches deep, or the accessible voter
interface devices must be designed so as to allow use on top of
a table to meet these requirements. Tabletop installations must
include adequate privacy.
(14) Any audio ballot must provide the voter with the
following functionalities:
(i) After the initial instructions that the system requires
election officials to provide to each voter, the voter should be
able to independently operate the voter interface through the
final step of casting a ballot without assistance.
(ii) The voter must be able to determine the races that he
or she is allowed to vote in and to determine which candidates
are available in each race.
(iii) The voter must be able to determine how many
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candidates may be selected in each race.
(iv) The voter must be able to have confidence that the
physical or vocal inputs given to the system have selected the
candidates that he or she intended to select.
(v) The voter must be able to review the candidate
selections made.
(vi) Prior to the act of casting the ballot, the voter must
be able to change any selections previously made and confirm a
new selection.
(vii) The system must communicate to the voter the fact that
the voter has failed to vote in a race or has failed to vote the
number of allowable candidates in any race and require the voter
to confirm his or her intent to undervote before casting the
ballot.
(viii) The system must prevent the voter from overvoting any
race.
(ix) The voter must be able to input a candidate's name in
each race that allows a write-in candidate.
(x) The voter must be able to review his or her write-in
input to the interface, edit that input and confirm that the
edits meet the voter's intent.
(xi) There must be a clear, identifiable action that the
voter takes to cast the ballot. The system must make clear to
the voter how to cast the ballot so that the voter has minimal
risk of taking the action accidentally but, when the voter
intends to cast the ballot, the action can be easily performed.
(xii) Once the ballot is cast, the system must confirm to
the voter that the ballot has been cast and that the voter's
process of voting is complete.
(xiii) Once the ballot is cast, the system must preclude the
voter from modifying the ballot cast or voting or casting
another ballot.
Section 1113-B. Voting system defects, disclosure,
investigations and penalties.
(a) (Reserved).
(b) Disclosure.--No later than January 1 of every odd-
numbered year, each vendor shall file a written disclosure with
the Department of State identifying any known defect in the
voting system or state that there is no known defect, the effect
of any defect on the operation and use of the approved voting
system and any known corrective measures to cure a defect,
including, but not limited to, advisories and bulletins issued
to system users.
(c) Cure of defect.--Implementation of corrective measures
approved by the Department of State which enable a system to
conform to the standards and ensure the timeliness and accuracy
of the casting and counting of ballots constitutes a cure of a
defect.
(d) New defect.--If a vendor becomes aware of the existence
of a defect, the vendor must file a new disclosure with the
Department of State as provided in subsection (a) within 30 days
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of the date the vendor determined or reasonably should have
determined that the defect existed.
(e) Suspension.--If a vendor discloses to the Department of
State that a defect exists, the department may suspend all sales
or leases of the voting system in this Commonwealth and may
suspend the use of the voting system in any election in this
Commonwealth. The Department of State shall provide written
notice of a suspension under this subsection to the affected
vendor and county boards of elections. If the Department of
State determines that the defect no longer exists, the
Department of State shall lift the suspension and provide
written notice to each affected vendor and supervisor of
elections.
(f) Prohibition.--If a vendor fails to file a required
disclosure for a voting system previously approved by the
Department of State, that system may not be sold, leased or used
for elections in this Commonwealth until the voting system has
been submitted for examination and approval under this act. The
Department of State shall provide written notice to each county
board of elections that the system is no longer approved.
(g) Investigation.--If the Department of State has
reasonable cause to believe a voting system approved under this
act contains a defect either before, during or after an election
which has not been disclosed pursuant to this section, the
department shall investigate whether the voting system has a
defect.
(h) Initiation of investigation.--The Department of State
may independently initiate an investigation or upon the written
request of the county board of elections that purchased a voting
system that contains the alleged defect.
(i) Notice of investigation.--Upon initiation of an
investigation, the Department of State shall provide written
notice to the vendor and each county board of elections.
(j) Notice of defect.--If the Department of State determines
by a preponderance of the evidence that a defect exists in the
voting system or that vendor failed to timely disclose a defect
under this section, the department shall provide written notice
to the affected vendor and county board of elections.
(k) Response.--A vendor who receives notice of a defect
shall, within ten days of receipt of the notice under subsection
(j), file a written response to the Department of State which:
(1) denies that the alleged defect exists or existed as
alleged by the department or that the vendor failed to timely
disclose a defect and sets forth the reasons for the denial;
or
(2) admits that the defect exists or existed as alleged
by the department or that the vendor failed to timely
disclose a defect.
(l) Cure.--If the defect has been cured, the vendor shall
provide an explanation of how the defect was cured.
(m) Failure to cure.--If the defect has not been cured, the
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vendor shall inform the Department of State whether the defect
can be cured and shall provide the department with a plan for
curing the defect.
(n) Time frame.--If the defect can be cured, the Department
of State shall establish a time frame within which to cure the
defect.
(o) Action.--If, after receiving a response from the vendor,
the Department of State determines that a defect does not exist
or has been cured within the time frame established by the
department, the department shall take no further action.
(p) Civil penalty.--If the Department of State determines
that a vendor failed to timely disclose a defect or that a
defect exists and a vendor has not filed a written response or
has failed to cure within the time frame established by the
department, or if the defect cannot be cured, the department
shall impose a civil penalty of $25,000 for the defect plus an
amount equal to the actual costs incurred by the department in
conducting the investigation.
(q) Administrative penalty.--If the Department of State
finds that a defect existed:
(1) The Department of State may suspend all sales and
leases of the voting system and may suspend its use in any
county in this Commonwealth. The Department of State shall
provide written notice of the suspension to each affected
vendor and county board of elections.
(2) If the Department of State determines that a defect
no longer exists in a voting system that has been suspended
from use under this section, the Department of State shall
lift the suspension and authorize the sale, lease and use of
the voting system in any election in the State. The
Department of State shall provide written notice that the
suspension has been lifted to each affected vendor and county
board of elections.
(3) If the defect cannot be cured, the Department of
State may disapprove the voting system for use in elections
in this Commonwealth. The Department of State shall provide
written notice to all supervisors of elections that the
system is no longer approved. After approval of a system that
has been withdrawn under this paragraph, the system may not
be sold, leased or used in this Commonwealth until it has
been resubmitted for examination and approval and adopted for
use under this act.
(4) A vendor for whom a civil penalty was imposed under
this section may not submit a voting system for approval by
the Department of State or enter into a contract for sale or
lease of a voting system in this Commonwealth until each
civil penalty has been paid and the department provides
written confirmation of the payment to the county board of
elections.
(r) Report.--The Department of State shall prepare a written
report of any investigation conducted pursuant to this section
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and submit the report to the President pro tempore of the
Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate, the Majority
Leader and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, the
chair and minority chair of the State Government Committee of
the Senate and the chair and minority chair of the State
Government Committee of the House of Representatives.
(s) Authority.--The authority of the Department of State
under this section shall be in addition to, and not exclusive
of, any other authority provided by law.
(t) Definition.--For the purposes of this section, the term
"defect" means a failure, fault or flaw in an electronic or
electro-mechanic voting system approved under this act, which
results in nonconformance with the standards in a manner that
affects the timeliness or accuracy of the casting or counting of
ballots or a failure or inability of the voting system
manufacturer or vendor to make available and provide approved
replacements of hardware or software to the counties that have
purchased the approved voting system, the unavailability of
which results in the system's nonconformance with the standards
in a manner that affects the timeliness or accuracy of the
casting or counting of ballots.
Section 1201.3. Voter's Bill of Rights.--Each registered
voter in this Commonwealth shall have the right to:
(1) Vote and have his or her vote accurately counted.
(2) Cast a vote if he or she is in line at the time of the
closing of polls.
(3) Ask for and receive assistance in voting.
(4) Receive up to two replacement ballots if he or she makes
a mistake prior to the ballot being cast.
(5) Receive an explanation if his or her registration or
identity is in question.
(6) Cast a provisional ballot, if his or her registration or
identity is in question.
(7) Receive written instructions to use when voting and,
upon request, oral instructions from elections officers to use
when voting.
(8) Vote free from coercion or intimidation by elections
officers or any other person.
(9) Vote on a voting system that is in working condition and
that will allow votes to be accurately cast and accurately
counted.
Section 1201.4. Senior Voter's Bill of Rights.--In addition
to the rights of a voter under section 1201.3, a voter in this
Commonwealth who is seventy years of age or older shall have the
right to:
(1) Receive any assistance necessary to successfully cast a
ballot.
(2) Move to the front of the line upon arrival at a polling
place.
(3) Receive assistance through supervised voting under
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section 1306.2.
Section 1201.5. Disabled Voter's Bill of Rights.--In
addition to the rights of a voter under section 1201.3, a voter
in this Commonwealth who is disabled shall have the right to:
(1) Receive any assistance necessary to successfully cast a
ballot.
(2) Move to the front of the line upon arrival at a polling
place.
(3) Bring into a polling place or elections office a service
animal qualified under the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990 (Public Law 101-336, 104 Stat. 327).
(4) Vote using an accessible voting machine approved under
this act.
(5) Have all polling places in this Commonwealth meet
accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990.
(6) Request a ballot be brought by election officers outside
the polling place of the qualified elector, provided that:
(i) A qualified elector's vote under this section shall be
cast within one hundred fifty feet of the entrance to the
polling place.
(ii) The qualified elector shall mark the ballot in the
presence of the judge of elections or county election official.
(iii) The qualified elector shall mark the ballot in a
secret manner and, obscuring the vote, return the ballot to the
Judge of elections or county election official. The judge of
elections or county election official shall immediately return
to the polling place and deposit the ballot in the voting
machine.
(iv) The district register utilized by the polling place
shall be brought to the qualified elector, if possible, or
otherwise made to record the qualified elector's participation
in the election.
(v) A record shall be made of each elector voting under this
section and of each Judge of elections or county election
official assisting in the casting of each such ballot.
Section 10. Sections 1205, 1210(a.3)(4) and 1302(i)(2) of
the act are amended to read:
Section 1205. Time for Opening and Closing Polls.--At all
primaries and elections the polls shall be opened at 7 A.M.[,
Eastern Standard Time,] local time and shall remain open
continuously until 8 P.M.[, Eastern Standard Time] local time,
at which time they shall be closed.
Section 1210. Manner of Applying to Vote; Persons Entitled
to Vote; Voter's Certificates; Entries to Be Made in District
Register; Numbered Lists of Voters; Challenges.--* * *
(a.3) * * *
(4) As each voter is found to be qualified and votes, the
election officer in charge of the district register shall [write
or stamp] record the date of the election or primary, his number
in the order of admission to the voting machines, and at
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primaries a letter or abbreviation designating the party in
whose primary he votes, and shall sign his name or initials in
the proper space on the registration card of such voter
contained in the district register.
* * *
Section 1302. Applications for Official Absentee Ballots.--*
* *
(i) * * *
(2) Nothing in this act shall prohibit a private
organization or individual from printing blank voter
applications for absentee ballots or shall prohibit the use of
such applications by another individual, provided the form,
content and paper quality have been approved by the Secretary of
the Commonwealth. Voter applications of absentee ballots
distributed under this section must clearly indicate that they
have not been sent or distributed by a county or by the
Department of State and must be blank upon distribution to an
elector.
* * *
Section 11. Section 1306(a) introductory paragraph of the
act, amended March 27, 2020 (P.L.41, No.12), is amended and the
section is amended by adding a subsection to read:
Section 1306. Voting by Absentee Electors.--(a) Except as
provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), at any time after receiving
an official absentee ballot, but on or before eight o'clock P.M.
the day of the primary or election, the elector shall, in
secret, proceed to mark the ballot only in black lead pencil,
indelible pencil or blue, black or blue-black ink, in fountain
pen or ball point pen, and then fold the ballot, enclose and
securely seal the same in the envelope on which is printed,
stamped or endorsed "Official Election Ballot." This envelope
shall then be placed in the second one, on which is printed the
form of declaration of the elector, and the address of the
elector's county board of election and the local election
district of the elector. The elector shall then fill out, date
and sign the declaration printed on such envelope. [Such
envelope shall then be securely sealed and the elector shall
send same by mail, postage prepaid, except where franked, or
deliver it in person to said county board of election.]
* * *
(a.1) The elector shall, prior to eight o'clock P.M. on
election day, return his or her completed absentee ballot by one
of the following methods only:
(1) Delivery through the United States Postal Service to the
offices of his or her county board of elections.
(2) Delivery in person to the permanent offices of his or
her county board of elections during its regular hours of
operation.
(3) Delivery to a ballot return site established under
section 313.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit
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