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204C.50 Postelection security and certification review.

Subdivision 1. Selection for review; notice. (a) The Office of the Secretary of State shall, within three days after each state general election beginning in 2006, randomly select 80 precincts for postelection review as defined in this section. The precincts must be selected so that an equal number of precincts are selected in each congressional district of the state. Of the precincts in each congressional district, at least five must have had more than 500 votes cast, and at least two must have had fewer than 500 votes cast. The secretary of state must promptly provide notices of which precincts are chosen to the election administration officials who are responsible for the conduct of elections in those precincts.

(b) One week before the state general election beginning in 2006, the secretary of state must post on the office Web site the date, time, and location at which precincts will be randomly chosen for review under this section. The chair of each major political party may appoint a designee to observe the random selection process.

Subd. 2. Scope and conduct of review. Each review is limited to federal and state offices and must consist of at least the following:

(a) The election officials immediately responsible for a precinct chosen for review must conduct the following review and submit the results in writing to the State Canvassing Board before it meets to canvass the election:

(1) a hand tally of the paper ballots, of whatever kind used in that precinct, for each contested election;

(2) a recount using the actual machine and software used on election day, if a precinct-count or central-count automated voting system was used; and

(3) a comparison of the hand tally with the reported results for the precinct in the county canvassing board report, as well as the actual tape of any automated tabulation produced by any precinct-count or central-count optical scan equipment that may have been used to tabulate votes cast in that precinct.

(b) The staff of the Office of the Secretary of State shall conduct or directly supervise a review of the procedures used by the election officials at all levels for a precinct chosen for review, including an inspection of the materials retained for the official 22-month retention period, such as the rosters, the incident log, and the ballots themselves. The staff must submit a written report to the secretary of state before the next regularly scheduled meeting of the State Canvassing Board.

Subd. 3. Standard of acceptable performance by tabulating equipment. Each comparison of the precinct-count or central-count tabulating equipment system with the review described in subdivision 2, paragraph (a), must be accurate to within one-half of one percent variation for each contested election. If any review conducted under subdivision 2, paragraph (a), reveals a discrepancy greater than one-half of one percent, the Office of the Secretary of State shall as soon as practicable conduct an additional review of at least ten percent of the tabulating equipment used in the jurisdiction of the election for which the discrepancy was discovered. If this review results in a discrepancy greater than the one-half percent standard, the Office of the Secretary of State must conduct a complete audit of the election for which the discrepancy was discovered. If a complete audit must be conducted, the results of the audit must be used by the canvassing board in making its report and determinations of persons elected and propositions rejected or approved. If a voting system is found to have failed to record votes in a manner that indicates electronic operational failure, the canvassing board must use the voter-verifiable audit records to determine the votes cast on the system, unless the audit records were also impaired by the operational failure of the voting machine. Notwithstanding section 204C.33, subdivision 3, the result of any election subject to this audit must not be declared until the audit is completed.

Subd. 4. Standard of acceptable performance by election judges and administrators. Each comparison of materials and documents generated in the course of the election in the selected precinct is expected to reveal no substantive errors and a minimum of technical issues by election judges and administrators.

Subd. 5. Failure to meet standards. (a) If a voting system fails to meet the standard set forth in subdivision 3, the manufacturer of the model of machine in question must obtain recertification pursuant to section 206.57 and rules adopted under that section, and is liable for penalties under section 206.66.

(b) If election judges or administrators fail to meet the standard in subdivision 4, the judges and administrators for the county where the precinct is located must attend training designed to eliminate the errors causing the failure. The Office of the Secretary of State must consider whether those errors or issues warrant inclusion in the statewide training programs conducted by the Office of the Secretary of State.

Subd. 6. Costs of review. The costs of conducting the review required by this section must be allocated as follows:

(a) The county or municipality responsible for each precinct selected for review must bear costs incurred under subdivision 2, paragraph (a).

(b) The secretary of state must bear the costs incurred under subdivision 2, paragraph (b), and subdivision 3, including travel, expenses, and staff time of the Office of the Secretary of State.

Subd. 7. Expiration. This section expires January 1, 2008.

HIST: 2004 c 293 art 2 s 30

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Revisor of Statutes