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Georgia State Code
Title      21
Chapter       2  
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Title 21, Chapter 2, Section 450 (21-2-450)

(a) In the precincts in which voting machines are used, the seals of the package furnished by the superintendent shall be publicly broken at the opening of the polls and such package shall be opened by the chief manager. Not less than three cards of instruction and notices of penalties, and not less than two diagrams of the face of the machine shall be immediately posted in or about the voting room outside the enclosed space; and such cards and notices of penalties shall be given to any elector at his or her request, so long as there are any on hand. The managers, before opening the envelope containing the keys which unlock the operating mechanism and registering counters or counter compartment of the voting machine, shall examine the number of the seal on the machine and the number registered on the protective counter or device and shall see whether they are the same as the numbers written on the envelope containing the keys. If either number shall be found not to agree, the envelope shall remain unopened until the poll officers shall have notified the proper custodian of voting machines, or the superintendent and until the custodian or some other person authorized by the superintendent shall have presented himself or herself at the polling place for the purpose of reexamining the machine and shall have certified that it is properly arranged. But, if the numbers on the seal and the protective counter or device shall both be found to agree with the numbers on the envelope, the envelope shall be opened, and where the voting machine provided is not equipped with a mechanism for printing paper proof sheets, the poll officers shall examine the registering counters and, for that purpose, shall open the doors concealing such counter, if the construction of the voting machine shall so require; and, before the polls are opened, each manager shall carefully examine every counter and shall see that it registers zero. When the voting machine provided is equipped with a mechanism for printing paper proof sheets and requires the simultaneous use of three keys to unlock the registering counters or counter compartment, the chief manager shall deliver one of the two keys to an assistant manager, to be retained by him or her, and shall then print at least two proof sheets, one of which each manager shall carefully examine to ascertain whether every counter registers zero and shall then preserve such proof sheets to be signed by them and returned to the superintendent, with the duplicate return sheet, and shall sign and post the other proof sheet upon the wall of the polling place, where it shall remain until the polls are closed. The key delivered by the chief manager to such assistant manager, as provided in this subsection, shall be retained by him or her until the polls have been closed; and the voting and counting mechanism of the machine shall have been locked and sealed against voting and shall then be returned to the chief manager, for return by him or her to the superintendent, as provided in this part.

(b) If the ballot labels containing the names of officers, political parties and bodies, candidates, and questions shall not be in their proper places on the voting machine, the poll officers shall immediately notify the proper custodian of voting machines or the superintendent, and the machine shall not be used until the custodian or some other person authorized by the superintendent shall have supplied ballot labels as provided in this subsection. If the ballot labels for a voting machine shall not be delivered at the time required or, if after delivery, they shall be lost, destroyed, or stolen, the superintendent or custodian shall cause other ballot labels to be prepared, printed, or written, as nearly in the form of the official ballot labels as practicable, and shall cause such ballot labels to be used in the same manner, as nearly as may be, as the official ballot labels would have been used.

(c) The managers shall sign a certificate showing:

(1) The identifying number or other designation of the voting machine;

(2) The delivery of the keys in a sealed envelope;

(3) The number on the seal upon the machine;

(4) The number registered on the protective counter or device;

(5) That all the counters were set at zero; and

(6) That the ballot labels are properly placed in the machine,

which certificate shall be returned by the chief manager to the superintendent with the other certificates, as provided in this part.

(d) The machine shall remain locked against voting until the polls are opened and shall not be operated except by electors in voting. If any counter is found not to register zero, the poll officers shall immediately notify the custodian or the superintendent, who shall, if practicable, adjust or cause the counters to be adjusted at zero; but, if it shall be found impracticable for the custodian or other person authorized by the superintendent to arrive in time so as to adjust such counters before the time set for opening the polls, the poll officers shall immediately make a written record of the designation or designating letter or number of such counter, together with the number registered thereon (called the initial number below) and shall sign and post the same upon the wall of the polling place, where it shall remain until the polls are closed; provided, however, that if the voting machine used is equipped with a mechanism for printing paper proof sheets, in any case where any counter is shown by such proof sheet not to register zero, if it shall be found impracticable to have such counter adjusted before the time set for opening the polls, the poll officer shall sign such printed proof sheet and post the same upon the wall of the polling place where it shall remain until the polls are closed; and, in filling out the returns of the election, if the final number of such counter is greater than the initial number, the poll officers shall subtract the initial number from the final number and enter the difference on the returns as the vote for the candidate or on the question represented by such counter; if the final number of such counter is less than the initial number, the poll officers shall add 1,000 to the final number, shall subtract the initial number from the sum so ascertained, and shall enter upon the returns as the vote for the candidate or on the question represented by such counter the final plus 1,000 less the initial number.

(e) The exterior of the voting machine and every part of the polling place shall be in plain view of the poll officers. The voting machine shall be located at the polling place, at least six feet back of the guardrail or barrier, in such a position that, unless its construction shall require otherwise, the ballot labels on the face of the machine can be seen plainly by the poll officers when the machine is not occupied by an elector.

(f) The poll officers shall not themselves be, nor allow any other person to be, in any position that will permit anyone to see or ascertain how an elector votes or how he or she has voted. A poll officer shall inspect the face of the machine at least once every hour during the time when the polls are open to see that the ballot labels are in their proper places and that the machine has not been damaged or tampered with.

(g) If during the primary or election a voting machine becomes inoperative in such manner that it cannot be readily repaired without exposing the count on the candidate counters, the poll officer shall immediately lock and seal the operating lever or mechanism of the machine so that the voting and counting mechanism will be prevented from operation. Upon the close of the polls, the poll officers shall perform their duties set forth in Code Sections 21-2-454 through 21-2-457 with respect to such machine. If necessary, because of the lack of another machine or other machines for use by the electors, after a voting machine becomes inoperative, paper ballots shall be used.

Sunday May 24 18:12 EDT


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