Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 33A of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1984 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the third sentence the following sentence:- Voting machines which contain electronic components need not be equipped with a protective counter, and, instead of candidate and question counters, may be equipped with internal components which register votes electronically.
SECTION 2. Section 33E of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
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.
SECTION 3. The second paragraph of section 35B of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the second sentence the following sentence:- Such results and votes may be read by means of a printer mechanism, if the voting machine is so equipped, and such results may be accumulated through the use of memory cartridges which are read directly or indirectly to a central computer.
SECTION 4. Section 105A of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the first paragraph the following paragraph:-
Notwithstanding other provisions of this section to the contrary, if the approved electronic voting system is equipped to count votes electronically while the polls are open, the election officers shall read the vote totals from the counting device after the polls close, by means of a printer mechanism or otherwise and any person who in any manner ascertains or discloses the count of such votes before the polls close shall be punished as provided in section sixty-eight.