[Rev. 11/21/2013 4:03:01 PM--2013]

[NAC-293B Revised Date: 7-11]

CHAPTER 293B - MECHANICAL VOTING SYSTEMS

293B.010         Definitions.

293B.020         Preparation and maintenance of documentary record.

293B.030         Control of access to system.

293B.040         Security of ballots, results cartridges and VVPATs.

293B.050         Security of election computer program.

293B.060         Testing of mechanical voting system.

293B.070         Equipment for tabulating ballots: Repair or adjustment; failure of system.

293B.080         Test decks.

293B.090         Testing of equipment and programs; reporting and correction of certain errors; use of mechanical recording devices which directly record votes electronically.

293B.100         Use of bar codes to audit paper record printed by VVPAT.

293B.110         Certification of software and operating systems before each federal election; maintenance of audit trail.

293B.120         Postelection audit for verification of operating systems.

293B.130         Observation of conduct of certain tests of equipment and programs.

 

 

 

      NAC 293B.010  Definitions. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

     1.  “Firmware” means programming instructions that are stored in a read-only memory format within a mechanical recording device rather than being implemented through software.

     2.  “Mechanical recording device” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 293B.032.

     3.  “Mechanical voting system” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 293B.033.

     4.  “Results cartridge” means a cartridge which contains the electronically recorded ballots cast during the election and from which the ballots are tabulated.

     5.  “Voter verifiable paper audit trail printer” or “VVPAT” means the device attached to a mechanical recording device and the paper it prints to record all votes cast by a voter for any and all candidates and for or against any and all measures, enabling that voter to visually verify that the mechanical voting system accurately recorded the votes of the voter.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State, eff. 2-28-90; A by R072-06, 7-14-2006; R163-07, 12-4-2007)

      NAC 293B.020  Preparation and maintenance of documentary record. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)

     1.  A county using a mechanical voting system shall prepare and maintain a documentary record of each step in the operation of its equipment for processing ballots and in its process for tabulating votes. The record must include the following events:

     (a) Initiation of the program for counting ballots;

     (b) Clearing totals;

     (c) Tests of logic and accuracy;

     (d) Failures of hardware;

     (e) Repairs of hardware, including tests of accuracy after the completion of repairs; and

     (f) Crashes and restarts of the system.

     2.  The documentary record must be maintained until final certification of the results of the election, and must be secured in the same manner and retained for the same period as the ballots for the election.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State, eff. 2-28-90)

      NAC 293B.030  Control of access to system. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)

     1.  If a county department for data processing, or another agency for data processing which is performing pursuant to a contract with a county, prepares election computer programs and programs for tabulation to be used in the county’s mechanical voting system, the head of that department or agency shall:

     (a) Prepare a list of the persons authorized to gain access to the programs and tables for counting ballots;

     (b) Maintain a log regarding the access of users to those programs; and

     (c) Provide the county clerk with a copy of the list and log at least annually, or as often as the county clerk requests.

     2.  If access is made by telecommunication to a program for counting ballots, that access must not be to the original program, but to a mirror image of the program.

     3.  If entry of a code is required for access to a program for counting ballots, the code must be changed before each election.

     4.  No person given access to a room where tabulation of ballots occurs in a county using a mechanical voting system may interfere with the process of counting ballots. The county clerk shall bar from the room any person who attempts to interfere with that process.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State, eff. 2-28-90)

      NAC 293B.040  Security of ballots, results cartridges and VVPATs. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)

     1.  A county clerk shall:

     (a) Store ballots, results cartridges and VVPATs upon receipt in a vault or secure area that is accessible only by the county clerk and persons designated by the county clerk;

     (b) Provide for the security and protection of the stored ballots, results cartridges and VVPATs;

     (c) Control access to the stored ballots, results cartridges and VVPATs; and

     (d) Maintain a record of the persons allowed access to the stored ballots, results cartridges and VVPATs.

     2.  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, each county clerk shall, not later than the 90th day before the primary election, submit to the Secretary of State for approval a plan to carry out the provisions of paragraph (l) of subsection 3 of NRS 293.247 concerning the procedures to be used to ensure the security of the ballots, results cartridges and VVPATs. If there is no change to the plan submitted in the previous year, the county clerk is not required to submit another plan to the Secretary of State. The county clerk shall notify the Secretary of State, in writing, if there is no change to the plan. The plan must include, without limitation:

     (a) The person who is responsible for transporting the ballots, results cartridges and VVPATs from the polling place to the central counting place; and

     (b) The time allotted for travel from the polling place to the central counting place.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State, eff. 2-28-90; A 3-17-92; R086-00, 8-22-2000; R072-06, 7-14-2006)

      NAC 293B.050  Security of election computer program. (NRS 293.124, 293.247, 293B.135)

     1.  As used in NRS 293B.135, “election computer program” means the tape, source code, executable computer code or computer software and the tables created for an election to count correctly votes cast through the use of a mechanical voting system. The source code or executable computer code for an election must remain on file with the Secretary of State until amended.

     2.  An election computer program or tape must not be copied more than twice and printed out more than once for each election. The original program or tape must be sealed in the manner set forth in NRS 293B.155. A copy of the program or tape must be secured by the county clerk. Another copy must be delivered by certified mail to the Secretary of State.

     3.  The county clerk and Secretary of State shall provide for the security of an election computer program or tape in his or her possession.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State, eff. 2-28-90; A 3-17-92; 3-22-94)

      NAC 293B.060  Testing of mechanical voting system. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)

     1.  A ballot used in performing a test of a mechanical voting system must be conspicuously marked “TEST.”

     2.  A county using a mechanical voting system with a multiple ballot reader shall, in addition to its other tests of the system, conduct an independent test of each reader.

     3.  If the tests conducted pursuant to NRS 293B.150 and 293B.165 detect that the ballots have not been accurately tabulated, the cause of the problem must be determined and corrected, and the ballots must be retabulated.

     4.  A dedicated or equally secure computer system must be used for all tests conducted before or after an election, and for the tabulation of votes immediately after an election.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State, eff. 2-28-90; A by R072-06, 7-14-2006)

      NAC 293B.070  Equipment for tabulating ballots: Repair or adjustment; failure of system. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)

     1.  If an event occurs during the tabulation of ballots which requires the repair or adjustment of a ballot reader, the reader must be retested for accuracy before it may again be used.

     2.  If any of the equipment used for the tabulation of ballots fails to function properly as the result of a surge in or failure of power, the prescribed methods for certification of the mechanical voting system must be completed before the system may again be used.

     3.  A county clerk in a county using a mechanical voting system shall:

     (a) Determine the most reasonable and practical method for completing the process of tabulating ballots in the event the existing system fails; and

     (b) Develop a plan for the tabulation of ballots in the event that a failure in the existing system precludes the tabulation of ballots at the usual and customary location.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State, eff. 2-28-90; A 3-17-92; R013-00, 4-4-2000; R072-06, 7-14-2006)

      NAC 293B.080  Test decks. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)  A county clerk in a county using a mechanical voting system shall develop a separate test deck for each type of ballot used in the county. Such a test deck must:

     1.  Contain not less than the same number of ballots as there are valid voting positions for an office in that county; and

     2.  Allow for the testing of each precinct, including the preparation of a cumulative report of the total votes cast for each voting position and a total count of the number of precincts.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State, eff. 2-28-90; A by R072-06, 7-14-2006)

      NAC 293B.090  Testing of equipment and programs; reporting and correction of certain errors; use of mechanical recording devices which directly record votes electronically. (NRS 293.124, 293.247, 293.3677, 293B.105)

     1.  Before and after each election, as provided in NRS 293B.140 to 293B.170, inclusive, the county clerk in a county using a mechanical voting system shall ensure that each mechanical recording device which directly records votes electronically, each VVPAT and the automatic tabulating equipment and programs to be used in the election will accurately record the votes cast for all offices and on all measures by completing the tests required pursuant to this section and chapter 293B of NRS.

     2.  A county clerk shall, in the course of performing the other tests of the system, conduct a test to ascertain that the VVPAT correctly records on the paper record the selection made on the mechanical voting device for all offices and all measures on the ballot. If a county clerk is required to conduct an election in more than one language, the test ballots must be processed in each required language.

     3.  A county clerk shall conduct the test required pursuant to subsection 2 by:

     (a) Processing on a mechanical recording device, during the periods prescribed in NRS 293B.150 and 293B.165, a group of logic and accuracy test ballots voted so as to record:

          (1) A vote for each candidate and a vote for and against each measure on the ballot;

          (2) A vote for “None of these candidates” for all statewide contests;

          (3) “No selection made” for each contest and ballot measure; and

          (4) In all contests in which a voter may vote for more than one candidate, each option available to the voter, from “No selection made” to the total number of candidates a voter may select.

     (b) Comparing the paper record with the contests and candidate names required to be on the ballot to ensure the paper record is accurately recording and reflecting the selections made on the mechanical recording device.

     4.  If any error is detected during the test required pursuant to subsection 2, the error must be immediately reported to the Secretary of State. The cause of the error must be ascertained and corrected and an errorless count must be made before the particular mechanical recording device or VVPAT is approved for use in the election or certified for accuracy in the official counting of the ballots.

     5.  A vote is properly cast on a mechanical recording device which directly records votes electronically when:

     (a) The voter selects his or her choice;

     (b) The mechanical voting system verifies the selection of the voter;

     (c) The voter submits his or her selections; and

     (d) The mechanical voting system verifies that the selections have been submitted.

     6.  Each mechanical recording device which directly records votes electronically must include:

     (a) Instructions for casting a vote;

     (b) A method for a voter to select his or her vote in each contest;

     (c) A method for a voter to change his or her selection;

     (d) A visual verification of the selections made by the voter for each contest;

     (e) A visual notice to the voter if the voter has not made a selection in a contest or if the voter has undervoted in a contest in which the voter may select more than one candidate;

     (f) Protection from an overvote;

     (g) A method for the voter to review his or her selections and make changes before the ballot is cast;

     (h) A notice advising the voter to confirm his or her selections before casting his or her ballot and informing the voter that casting the ballot is irrevocable;

     (i) A verification that the vote has been cast;

     (j) A paper record of each vote that is cast; and

     (k) An electronic record of each ballot stored by the mechanical voting system.

     7.  A mechanical recording device which directly records votes electronically must create a trail for an audit of the mechanical voting system which substantiates that:

     (a) Only ballots cast by authorized voters have been included in the tally list;

     (b) All ballots have been unmodified since they were cast;

     (c) All ballots cast have been accounted for; and

     (d) The results of the tabulation of the ballots have been correctly accumulated from the ballots of the authorized voters and are capable of repetition with the same results.

     8.  Persons authorized to observe the tests conducted pursuant to NRS 293B.150 and 293B.165 must not interfere with the conduct of such tests. The results of the tests conducted pursuant to this section are confidential pursuant to NRS 293B.155.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State by R183-01, eff. 5-10-2002; A by R072-06, 7-14-2006; R092-09, 10-27-2009)

      NAC 293B.100  Use of bar codes to audit paper record printed by VVPAT. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)  If a county uses bar codes on the paper printed by a VVPAT to verify the ballots on a mechanical recording device, the county clerk shall randomly select two bar codes for each paper record printed by the VVPAT to audit the paper record printed by the VVPAT.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State by R163-07, eff. 12-4-2007)

      NAC 293B.110  Certification of software and operating systems before each federal election; maintenance of audit trail. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)

     1.  Before each election cycle for federal office, in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary of State, each county clerk shall certify that:

     (a) The software used to tabulate ballots; and

     (b) The operating systems, including, without limitation, software and firmware, installed on each mechanical recording device,

Ê have been certified by the Voting System Certification and Laboratory Accreditation Program of the Election Assistance Commission established pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 15321.

     2.  The county clerk shall certify the operating systems, including, without limitation, software and firmware, pursuant to subsection 1 by confirming that each component of such operating systems used pursuant to subsection 1 matches the identity registered with the National Software Reference Library.

     3.  The date and time that the operating systems of each mechanical recording device are certified pursuant to subsection 2 must be recorded, and, subject to the provisions of subsection 4, an audit trail must be maintained from that date which sets forth each instance that the mechanical recording device is accessed.

     4.  The audit trail required pursuant to subsection 3 must include, without limitation:

     (a) The name of the supervisor responsible for accessing the mechanical recording device;

     (b) The reason for accessing the mechanical recording device; and

     (c) The date and time that the accessing of the mechanical recording device was completed.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State by R163-07, eff. 12-4-2007)

      NAC 293B.120  Postelection audit for verification of operating systems. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)

     1.  After each election, each county clerk shall conduct a postelection audit of mechanical recording devices randomly selected pursuant to subsection 3 or 4 to verify that the operating systems, including, without limitation, software and firmware, installed on each mechanical recording device used in the election are the operating systems that were certified before the election pursuant to NAC 293B.110.

     2.  The county clerk shall verify operating systems pursuant to subsection 1 by confirming that each component of such operating systems matches the identity registered with the National Software Reference Library.

     3.  For the postelection audit conducted pursuant to subsection 1, the county clerk of a county whose population is 100,000 or more shall randomly select a number of mechanical recording devices that is at least 2 percent of the number of mechanical recording devices used in the election, or not less than 20 mechanical recording devices, whichever is greater.

     4.  For the postelection audit conducted pursuant to subsection 1, the county clerk of a county whose population is less than 100,000 shall randomly select a number of mechanical recording devices that is at least 3 percent of the number of mechanical recording devices, or not less than four mechanical recording devices, whichever is greater.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State by R163-07, eff. 12-4-2007)

      NAC 293B.130  Observation of conduct of certain tests of equipment and programs. (NRS 293.124, 293.247)

     1.  Subject to the provisions of subsections 2, 3 and 4, any person may observe a test conducted pursuant to NRS 293B.155 in an area designated by the county clerk.

     2.  Before observing a test pursuant to subsection 1, a person must sign a form stating that the person, during the time he or she observes the test:

     (a) May not talk to county election personnel;

     (b) May not take photographs within the designated area;

     (c) May not use a mobile telephone or computer within the designated area;

     (d) May not advocate for or against a candidate, political party or ballot question;

     (e) May not argue for or against or challenge any decisions of county election personnel;

     (f) May not interfere with the test being conducted; and

     (g) May be removed from the designated area by the county clerk for violating any provision of title 24 of NRS or any of the provisions of paragraphs (a) to (f), inclusive.

     3.  The county clerk may, at his or her discretion, remove from the designated area a person observing a test pursuant to this section for violating any provision of title 24 of NRS or any of the provisions of paragraphs (a) to (f), inclusive, of subsection 2.

     4.  A person observing a test pursuant to this section must comply with the same requirements that apply to members of the general public pursuant to NRS 293.274, 293.305 and 293.730.

     5.  As used in this section, “advocate” includes, without limitation, speaking, displaying or disseminating written material and wearing identifying clothing, buttons or other paraphernalia.

     (Added to NAC by Sec’y of State by R163-07, eff. 12-4-2007; A by R092-09, 10-27-2009)