16-449. Required test of equipment and programs; notice; procedures manual

A. Within the period of time before the election day prescribed by the secretary of state in the instructions and procedures manual adopted pursuant to section 16-452, the board of supervisors or other election officer in charge, or for an election involving state or federal candidates, the secretary of state, shall have the automatic tabulating equipment and programs tested to ascertain that the equipment and programs will correctly count the votes cast for all offices and on all measures.  Public notice of the time and place of the test shall be given at least forty-eight hours prior thereto by publication once in one or more daily or weekly newspapers published in the town, city or village using such equipment, if a newspaper is published therein, otherwise in a newspaper of general circulation therein.  The test shall be observed by at least two election inspectors, who shall not be of the same political party, and shall be open to representatives of the political parties, candidates, the press and the public. The test shall be conducted by processing a preaudited group of ballots so marked as to record a predetermined number of valid votes for each candidate and on each measure and shall include for each office one or more ballots that have votes in excess of the number allowed by law in order to test the ability of the automatic tabulating equipment and programs to reject such votes.  If any error is detected, the cause therefor shall be ascertained and corrected and an errorless count shall be made before the automatic tabulating equipment and programs are approved.  A copy of a revised program shall be filed with the secretary of state within forty-eight hours after the revision is made. If the error was created by automatic tabulating equipment malfunction, a report shall be filed with the secretary of state within forty-eight hours after the correction is made, stating the cause and the corrective action taken.  The test shall be repeated immediately before the start of the official count of the ballots in the same manner as set forth above.  After the completion of the count, the programs used and the ballots shall be sealed, retained and disposed of as provided for paper ballots.

B. Electronic ballot tabulating systems shall be tested for logic and accuracy within seven days before their use for early balloting pursuant to the instructions and procedures manual for electronic voting systems that is adopted by the secretary of state as prescribed by section 16-452. The instructions and procedures manual shall include procedures for the handling of ballots, the electronic scanning of ballots and any other matters necessary to ensure the maximum degree of correctness, impartiality and uniformity in the administration of an electronic ballot tabulating system.

C. Notwithstanding subsections A and B of this section, if a county uses accessible voting equipment to mark ballots and that accessible voting equipment does not independently tabulate or tally votes, the secretary of state in cooperation with the county officer in charge of elections may designate a single date to test the logic and accuracy of both the accessible voting equipment and electronic ballot tabulating systems.