§3-4A-9a. Authorization for ballot-marking voting systems; minimum requirements.
(a) For purposes of this section, "ballot-marking accessible voting system" means a device which allows voters, including voters with disabilities, to mark an optical scanning or mark-sensing voting system ballot, privately and independently. The ballot-marking device is capable of marking voter selections on an optically readable or mark-sensing ballot which shall be subsequently read and tallied on state certified optically readable or mark-sensing ballot tabulating and reporting systems. Counties are hereby permitted to obtain and employ ballot-marking accessible voting systems that are approved by the State Election Commission.
(b) The ballot-marking accessible voting device shall be a completely integrated ballot-marking device that is designed to allow voters to either view ballot choices through a high resolution visual display or listen to ballot choices with headphones and then enter ballot selections directly through specially designed, integrated accessibility devices.
(c) Ballot-marking accessible voting systems may be used for the purpose of marking or scanning optically readable or mark-sensing ballots cast in all general, special and primary elections and shall meet the following specific requirements:
(1) The ballot-marking accessible voting system, system firmware and programming software must be certified by an independent testing authority, according to current federal voting system standards and be approved by the State Election Commission prior to entering into any contract.
(2) The ballot-marking accessible voting system shall, additionally:
(A) Alert the voter if the voter has made more ballot selections than the law allows for an individual office or ballot issue;
(B) Alert the voter if the voter has made fewer ballot selections than the law allows for an individual office or ballot issue;
(C) Allow the voter to independently review all ballot choices and make any corrections, before the ballot is marked;
(D) Provide the voter with the opportunity to make a write-in ballot choice, where allowed by state law;
(E) Allow voters with disabilities to mark their ballots, in complete independence, and in conformity with both federal and state law concerning mandatory accessibility for disabled persons;
(F) Allow blind or visually impaired voters to vote in complete privacy;
(G) Provide voters with an opportunity to change ballot selections, or correct errors, before the ballot is marked for voting, including the opportunity to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter was otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct the error;
(H) Provide voters with the ability to view all ballot selections through a high resolution visual display or to have all ballot selections read to the voter through headphones;
(I) Ensure complete ballot privacy, while employing the ballot-marking audio system and providing the voter with the option to turn off the visual ballot display;
(J) Include a completely integrated voter input keypad, using commonly accepted voter accessibility keys with Braille markings;
(K) Include the ability for a voter to employ a sip/puff device to enter ballot choices;
(L) Allow the voter to magnify all ballot choices and to adjust both the volume of the audio feature and the speed of ballot presentation;
(M) Allow the voter to employ his or her own headset as well as the headset provided with the ballot-marking device while being equipped with multiple output connections to accommodate different headsets;
(N) Have multiple-language capability; and
(O) Allow the voter to verify that:
(i) An optical scan ballot inserted into the device at the start of voting is blank; and
(ii) The voted optical scan ballot that is produced by the device is voted as the voter intended.
(d) The Secretary of State is hereby directed to propose rules and emergency rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code designed to ensure that any system employed by a county under the provisions of this section is publicly tested prior to use in election.