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25-2912. Paper ballot with distinctive watermark required; voting system requirements; certain poll books prohibited; rules and regulations. (a) (1) (A) All voting systems used for elections in this state held on or after January 1, 2024, shall require the use of an individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballot with a distinctive watermark established by the secretary of state. The voter's ballot shall be:

(i) Marked by the voter, or by a person assisting the voter as otherwise permitted by law, either by hand or by use of a voting machine that is a non-tabulating paper ballot marking or printing device or system that may be electromechanical or electronic;

(ii) made available to the voter for inspection and verification by the voter after the voter has marked the ballot but before the voter's vote is cast and counted, that may be spoiled by the voter if it fails to reflect the voter's choices and that permits the voter to cast a new paper ballot; and

(iii) canvassed by hand or read and tabulated by vote-tabulating equipment consisting of optical scanning equipment or other counting equipment that counts and tabulates paper ballots.

(B) The voting system shall provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any error on the paper ballot before the paper ballot is secured and preserved.

(2) The voting system shall not preserve the paper ballots in any manner that makes it possible, at any time after the ballot has been cast, to associate a voter with the record of the voter's vote without the voter's consent.

(3) The paper ballot shall constitute the official ballot and shall be preserved and used as the official ballot suitable for purposes of any audit or recount conducted with respect to any election in which the voting system is used. Each paper ballot shall be counted by hand in any recount conducted with respect to any election, unless the requestor of a recount pursuant to K.S.A. 25-3107, and amendments thereto, elects not to have the ballots counted by hand.

(4) In the event of any inconsistencies or irregularities between any electronic vote tallies and the vote tallies determined by counting by hand the paper ballots cast, the paper ballots as counted by hand shall be the true and correct record of the votes cast.

(b) The use of poll books not requiring a hand-written signature shall be prohibited.

(c) On or before January 1, 2023, the secretary of state shall adopt rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this section.

History: L. 2022, ch. 87, ยง 3; July 1.

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