42 U.S. Code § 15481 - Voting systems standards

prev | next
(a) Requirements
Each voting system used in an election for Federal office shall meet the following requirements:
(1) In general
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the voting system (including any lever voting system, optical scanning voting system, or direct recording electronic system) shall—
(i) permit the voter to verify (in a private and independent manner) the votes selected by the voter on the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted;
(ii) provide the voter with the opportunity (in a private and independent manner) to change the ballot or correct any error before the ballot is cast and counted (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 any error); and
(iii) if the voter selects votes for more than one candidate for a single office—
(I) notify the voter that the voter has selected more than one candidate for a single office on the ballot;
(II) notify the voter before the ballot is cast and counted of the effect of casting multiple votes for the office; and
(III) provide the voter with the opportunity to correct the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted.
(B) A State or jurisdiction that uses a paper ballot voting system, a punch card voting system, or a central count voting system (including mail-in absentee ballots and mail-in ballots), may meet the requirements of subparagraph (A)(iii) by—
(i) establishing a voter education program specific to that voting system that notifies each voter of the effect of casting multiple votes for an office; and
(ii) providing the voter with instructions on how to correct the ballot before it is cast and counted (including instructions on how to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter was otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct any error).
(C) The voting system shall ensure that any notification required under this paragraph preserves the privacy of the voter and the confidentiality of the ballot.
(2) Audit capacity
(A) In general
The voting system shall produce a record with an audit capacity for such system.
(B) Manual audit capacity
(i) The voting system shall produce a permanent paper record with a manual audit capacity for such system.
(ii) The voting system shall provide the voter with an opportunity to change the ballot or correct any error before the permanent paper record is produced.
(iii) The paper record produced under subparagraph (A) shall be available as an official record for any recount conducted with respect to any election in which the system is used.
(3) Accessibility for individuals with disabilities
The voting system shall—
(A) be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters;
(B) satisfy the requirement of subparagraph (A) through the use of at least one direct recording electronic voting system or other voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities at each polling place; and
(C) if purchased with funds made available under subchapter II of this chapter on or after January 1, 2007, meet the voting system standards for disability access (as outlined in this paragraph).
(4) Alternative language accessibility
The voting system shall provide alternative language accessibility pursuant to the requirements of section 1973aa–1a of this title.
(5) Error rates
The error rate of the voting system in counting ballots (determined by taking into account only those errors which are attributable to the voting system and not attributable to an act of the voter) shall comply with the error rate standards established under section 3.2.1 of the voting systems standards issued by the Federal Election Commission which are in effect on October 29, 2002.
(6) Uniform definition of what constitutes a vote
Each State shall adopt uniform and nondiscriminatory standards that define what constitutes a vote and what will be counted as a vote for each category of voting system used in the State.
(b) Voting system defined
In this section, the term “voting system” means—
(1) the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment (including the software, firmware, and documentation required to program, control, and support the equipment) that is used—
(A) to define ballots;
(B) to cast and count votes;
(C) to report or display election results; and
(D) to maintain and produce any audit trail information; and
(2) the practices and associated documentation used—
(A) to identify system components and versions of such components;
(B) to test the system during its development and maintenance;
(C) to maintain records of system errors and defects;
(D) to determine specific system changes to be made to a system after the initial qualification of the system; and
(E) to make available any materials to the voter (such as notices, instructions, forms, or paper ballots).
(c) Construction
(1) In general
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a State or jurisdiction which used a particular type of voting system in the elections for Federal office held in November 2000 from using the same type of system after the effective date of this section, so long as the system meets or is modified to meet the requirements of this section.
(2) Protection of paper ballot voting systems
For purposes of subsection (a)(1)(A)(i) of this section, the term “verify” may not be defined in a manner that makes it impossible for a paper ballot voting system to meet the requirements of such subsection or to be modified to meet such requirements.
(d) Effective date
Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after January 1, 2006.

Source

(Pub. L. 107–252, title III, § 301,Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1704.)

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

42 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.