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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 33E: Electronic voting systems; marking implements; stickers or pasters on ballots; inspection; instructions to voters; write-in candidates

Section 33E. If there is an approved electronic voting system in use, a voter may vote by punching holes in a data processing card, or by marking his ballot with special inks, or in a special manner, in conformity with the approved electronic voting system in use.

The city or town clerk shall provide special marking implements, styluses, fluorescent or opaque inks, in such quantity as to insure a sufficient supply throughout the election. The presiding officer shall periodically inspect each unit to ascertain that all things necessary are available to the voter. If special marking implements are used, pencils shall also be supplied for inserting the names of candidates which are not printed upon the ballot or ballot label. If the system used employs the paper ballot, every vote cast for any person whose name does not appear upon said ballot as a nominated candidate for the particular office shall be written or affixed by sticker or paster in the appropriate place provided on said ballot for the purpose or it shall not be counted. This section shall not be construed to limit in any way the right of the voter to write in his choice for any office in the appropriate space provided. Notwithstanding the provisions of section thirty-four of chapter fifty-three, on paper ballots to be used in any system which counts said ballots electronically, blank spaces shall be left at the end of the list of candidates for each different office equal to the number to be nominated or elected thereto.

At each precinct where special marking units are used, one or more such units, properly equipped for voting, shall be placed on public exhibition for the instruction of voters waiting to vote. These shall be placed outside the guard rail, and an election officer shall be detailed by the presiding officer to provide instructions for voters.

Before the opening of the polls the presiding officer, accompanied by a majority of the election officers, shall examine each such special marking unit and determine whether it is properly equipped and whether the ballot labels, if used, are properly in place.

If the system used requires the employment of a punch card or data processing card, each voter shall be supplied with an envelope for such card or an equivalent means for preserving the secrecy of the ballot, approved by the state secretary under the provisions of section thirty-two. If a voter wishes to vote for a candidate whose name is not printed upon the official ballot for an office, he may write in the name and address of the candidate of his choice or may affix a sticker or paster containing such name and address inside said envelope or in another approved place. After voting, the voter shall remove his card from the marking unit, shall enclose it at once in any envelope required, and shall insert the card, in any required envelope, in the ballot box. So far as practical, the same proceedings shall be had in each polling place as are required by sections seventy-six to eighty-five A, inclusive.