Section 135A. For recounts of any election in an election district where voting machines are used all records of the election shall be transmitted to the registrars of voters for the recount, including the voting lists used at the election, the certificates issued to voters omitted from the voting list, the original tally sheets, the precinct clerk’s election record, the sealed envelopes containing challenged ballots and absentee ballots cast, the absentee ballot envelopes and applications for such absentee ballots as were cast at the election, the lists of voters who were sent absentee ballots with the notation as to whether such ballots were cast or rejected or whether such voter voted in person and the sealed envelopes containing ballots rejected as defective.
The recount shall consist of the checking with the records and voting lists of the total sheets containing the results of the votes counted, including those cast by voting machines, by ballots of challenged voters and by absent voting ballots, the rejection or counting of ballots cast by challenged voters and the counting of absent voting ballots cast, and the examination of sealed absentee ballot envelopes rejected as defective as to reasons for rejection and a determination as to whether each such envelope should have been rejected or accepted. The registrars’ determinations shall be subject to protest as said envelopes are examined at the recount. Said envelopes shall remain sealed irrespective of the decision of the registrars at the recount unless ordered opened by a court. The recount shall also include the determination of the questions raised by the petition for recount, the retabulation of the results, and the certification of the corrected results to the city or town clerk. All voting machines used in a city or town primary or preliminary election shall remain locked and sealed for the period of ten days next succeeding the date of such primary or preliminary election after which time the voting machines may be unsealed and unlocked and made available for preparation for use in the succeeding election; provided, that the registrars of voters upon receipt of a petition for a recount under section one hundred and thirty-five shall proceed to inspect, examine, record and do such other things as are hereinafter provided for at elections. All voting machines used in an election shall remain locked and sealed for the period of thirty days next succeeding the date of the election, after which time the voting machines may be unsealed and unlocked and made available for preparation for use in the succeeding election; provided, that upon receipt of notice of contest, as provided by section one hundred and thirty-four, or a petition for a recount under section one hundred and thirty-five, or upon certification by the city or town clerk to the registrars of a necessity of releasing said machines for an ensuing primary, preliminary election or election, the registrars of voters shall, within five days from the receipt thereof, proceed to inspect and examine the voting machines showing the votes cast for such contested office, and shall make a record of the votes for said contested office as shown on said voting machines, or in the case of such certification by a city or town clerk a record of the votes for all offices as shown on said voting machines, which record, if correct, they shall duly certify as correct over their signatures, and shall preserve such records so that the same may be available in such contest or recount as evidence of the votes cast for such office upon said voting machines. Such record shall be received as evidence as fully and with as full force and effect as if proved by the oral testimony of the persons who shall sign the same, or by the production of said voting machines in court or before said board. The principals of such contest or recount, and their authorized representatives, shall be notified in writing of, and be permitted to be present at, the aforementioned inspection, examination and recording of the results as shown on said voting machines. After such inspection, examination and recording of the results thereof, the said voting machines shall immediately thereafter be released and shall be available for preparation for use in the succeeding election. Upon completion of such recount such records, total sheets, voting lists and ballots shall be returned to the city or town clerk, after being sealed up in their proper envelopes or containers, in the manner and with the certificate required by section one hundred and thirty-five. In any city or town where the annual city or town election is held on the first Monday in March, or during the month of February, in the year when the presidential primary is held the election commissioners or the registrars of voters shall inspect and make a record of the figures on the voting machines and ballot boxes immediately after the polls have closed and said machines and ballot boxes shall be used in the presidential primary.