HB 1859 Modifies provisions relating to ballots

     Handler: Koenig

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -

HB 1859 - This act modifies various provisions relating to ballots.

The act requires all electronic voting systems to produce election results from paper ballots that voters have marked by hand. Furthermore, the paper ballot is designated as the official ballot. The use of touchscreen, direct-recording, electronic vote-counting machines may be used by disabled voters until January 1, 2024. Replacement of equipment for use by voters who are disabled shall be with paper ballot marking devices designed to assist voters. Under no circumstances shall direct-record electronic touchscreen vote counting machines be used after January 1, 2024.

The act requires the use of specific labels for ballot measures depending on the type of measure it is. Statewide statutory ballot measures and referendums shall be labeled by the Secretary of State with the letters A through I. County ballot measures shall be labeled by the local election authority with the letters J through R. Local ballot measures shall be labeled by the local election authority with the letters S through Z. This provision is similar to a provision in HS/HCS/HB 738 (2021).

The act provides that for any election in which the selection of multiple candidates in response to a single ballot question is permitted, the ballot language for such an election shall specify that the voter "may vote for up to [the maximum number] candidates". The maximum number of candidates is based on the offices available. The ballot language shall not indicate that the voter "shall" or "must" vote for a definite number of candidates.

The act prohibits the use of drop boxes, with the exception of mail boxes under the ownership and control of the United States Postal Service.


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