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206.90 OPTICAL SCAN VOTING SYSTEMS.
    Subdivision 1. Definition. For the purposes of this section, "optical scan voting system"
means an electronic voting system approved for use under sections 206.80 to 206.81 in which the
voter records votes by marking with a pencil or other device, including an electronic ballot marker,
a ballot on which the names of candidates, office titles, party designation in a partisan primary or
election, and a statement of any question accompanied by the words "Yes" and "No" are printed.
    Subd. 2. Procedures. To the extent possible, procedures for using an optical scan voting
system must be the same as those used for other electronic voting systems, unless this section
provides otherwise.
    Subd. 3. Availability of paper ballots. At a state or county election where an optical scan
voting system will be in use, the county auditor may provide ballot cards meeting the requirements
of this section in lieu of paper ballots otherwise required to be prepared by the county auditor. In
an election jurisdiction where an optical scan voting system has been adopted, the election official
may provide paper ballots prepared in the same format used for the voting system.
    Subd. 4. Absentee voting. An optical scan voting system may be used for absentee voting.
The county auditor may supply an appropriate marking instrument to the voter along with the
ballot.
    Subd. 5. Instruction of judges, voters. In instructing judges and voters under section 206.84,
subdivision 1
, officials in charge of election precincts using optical scan voting systems shall
include instruction on the proper mark for recording votes on ballot cards marked with a pencil or
other writing instrument and the insertion by the voter of the ballot card into automatic tabulating
equipment that examines and counts votes as the ballot card is deposited into the ballot box.
Officials shall include instruction on the insertion by the voter of the ballot card into an
electronic ballot marker that can examine votes before the ballot card is deposited into the
ballot box.
    Subd. 6. Ballots. In precincts using optical scan voting systems, a single ballot card on which
all ballot information is included must be printed in black ink on white colored material except that
marks not to be read by the automatic tabulating equipment may be printed in another color ink.
On the front of the ballot must be printed the words "Official Ballot" and the date of the
election and lines for the initials of at least two election judges.
When optical scan ballots are used, the offices to be elected must appear in the following
order: federal offices; state legislative offices; constitutional offices; proposed constitutional
amendments; county offices and questions; municipal offices and questions; school district offices
and questions; special district offices and questions; and judicial offices.
On optical scan ballots, the names of candidates and the words "yes" and "no" for ballot
questions must be printed as close to their corresponding vote targets as possible.
The line on an optical scan ballot for write-in votes must contain the words "write-in, if any."
If a primary ballot contains both a partisan ballot and a nonpartisan ballot, the instructions
to voters must include a statement that reads substantially as follows: "THIS BALLOT CARD
CONTAINS A PARTISAN BALLOT AND A NONPARTISAN BALLOT. ON THE PARTISAN
BALLOT YOU ARE PERMITTED TO VOTE FOR CANDIDATES OF ONE POLITICAL
PARTY ONLY." If a primary ballot contains political party columns on both sides of the
ballot, the instructions to voters must include a statement that reads substantially as follows:
"ADDITIONAL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE PRINTED ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS
BALLOT. VOTE FOR ONE POLITICAL PARTY ONLY." At the bottom of each political party
column on the primary ballot, the ballot must contain a statement that reads substantially as
follows: "CONTINUE VOTING ON THE NONPARTISAN BALLOT." The instructions in
section 204D.08, subdivision 4, do not apply to optical scan partisan primary ballots. Electronic
ballot displays and audio ballot readers must follow the order of offices and questions on the
optical scan or paper ballot used in the same precinct, or the sample ballot posted for that precinct.
    Subd. 7. Voting booths. In precincts where an optical scan voting system is used, the number
of voting booths must be sufficient to provide for the number of voters expected. Information
needed to enable voters to mark ballot cards quickly and correctly must be posted in each voting
booth.
    Subd. 8. Duties of election officials. The official in charge of elections in each municipality
where an optical scan voting system is used shall have the electronic ballot marker that examines
and marks votes on ballot cards and the automatic tabulating equipment that examines and counts
votes as ballot cards are deposited into ballot boxes put in order, set, adjusted, and made ready for
voting when delivered to the election precincts. Whenever a ballot card created by an electronic
ballot marker certified by the secretary of state is rejected by an optical scan voting system, two
election judges who are members of different major political parties shall transcribe the votes
on the ballot rejected by the optical scan voting system pursuant to the procedures set forth in
section 206.86, subdivision 5.
    Subd. 9. Spoiled ballot cards. Automatic tabulating equipment and electronic ballot markers
must be capable of examining a ballot card for defects and returning it to the voter before it is
counted and deposited into the ballot box and must be programmed to return as a spoiled ballot a
ballot card with votes for an office or question which exceed the number which the voter is
entitled to cast and at a primary a ballot card with votes for candidates of more than one party.
    Subd. 10. Counting write-in votes. In precincts using optical scan voting systems, the
judges shall count the write-in votes and enter the number of those votes on forms provided for
the purpose. When the write-in votes are recorded on a medium that cannot be examined for
write-in votes by the automatic tabulating equipment or the automatic tabulating equipment does
not reject, with respect to write-in votes, all votes for an office or question when the number of
votes cast on it exceeds the number which the voter is entitled to count, all ballot envelopes or
other medium on which write-in votes have been recorded must be serially numbered, starting
with the number one and the same number must be placed on the ballot card of the voter. The
judges shall compare the write-in votes with the votes cast on the ballot card. If the total number
of votes for any office exceeds the number allowed by law, a notation to that effect must be
entered on the back of the ballot card and the card must be returned to the counting center in an
envelope marked "defective ballots"; however, valid votes on ballot cards containing invalid votes
must be counted as provided in section 206.86, subdivision 5.
When the write-in votes are recorded on ballot cards that can be examined for write-in
votes by the automatic tabulating equipment and the automatic tabulating equipment rejects all
votes for an office or question when the number of votes cast on it exceeds the number which
the voter is entitled to cast, the judges shall examine the ballot cards with write-in votes and
count the valid write-in votes.
History: 1986 c 381 s 1; 1987 c 175 s 15; 1989 c 291 art 1 s 28; 1993 c 223 s 22; 1994 c
646 s 22; 1997 c 147 s 70,71; 1998 c 254 art 1 s 64; 2000 c 467 s 31; 2004 c 293 art 2 s 42;
2005 c 162 s 29-33; 2006 c 242 s 36