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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE VIII ELECTIONS
  • CHAPTER 54 ELECTIONS
  • Section 33 Requirements and use of voting machines, electronic voting systems, and ballots

Section 33. Voting machines shall furnish convenient, simple and satisfactory means of voting at primaries and elections and of ascertaining and recording the true result thereof with facility and accuracy, special regard being given to the prevention and detection of double voting at primaries and elections and of voting for candidates of more than one political party at a primary; but no machine shall be approved which does not secure to the voter as much secrecy in voting as is afforded by the use of the official ballot. Ballot boxes shall have sufficient locks and keys or seal fastenings, and shall contain mechanical devices for receiving, registering and cancelling every ballot deposited therein; but no such box shall record any distinguishing number or mark upon a ballot. No machine, ballot box or counting apparatus, not approved in accordance with this and the preceding section, shall be used at any election, primary or caucus; nor shall any such machines, ballot boxes or counting apparatus be used except in accordance with the laws relating to primaries and elections.

On voting machines which provide adequate mechanical safeguards, the names of candidates and the questions to be submitted to the voters may be arranged in the same manner as on the official paper ballot. On all other voting machines to be used at state elections the names of the candidates for each office shall be arranged in a horizontal row or vertical column under or opposite to the titles of the offices, to be determined in accordance with the type of mechanical safeguard against over-voting used in the particular machine. At state primaries separate voting machines may be used for the listing of names of candidates of each of the political parties; provided, that the number of machines to be used for each such party in each polling place shall be determined by the city or town clerk or election commissioners and notice of such determination shall be sent to the state secretary not later than one hundred and twenty days preceding the date of the primary.

Electronic voting systems shall furnish convenient and simple means of voting at primaries, preliminary elections and elections, and of ascertaining and recording the results thereof with facility and accuracy, special regard being given to the prevention and detection of double voting, or of voting for candidates of more than one political party at a primary; but no system shall be approved which does not secure to the voter as much secrecy in voting as is afforded by the use of the official ballot.

At primaries, separate marking units, where necessary, may be used for the marking of the ballots of each party, as determined by the city or town clerk.

The arrangement of names and questions on voting machines and on ballots or ballot labels used in electronic voting systems shall be, in general, the same as on the official ballot, except as hereinbefore provided.