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Paper Ballots, Emergency Ballots, All-Mail Voting

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do citizens possess inherent right to obtain a "paper ballot" at the precinct polling place on election day?

election management studies

Independent audit solutions for validation and verification of election results

Material on the question "do citizens, legally registered to vote in an election, possess the "inherent" right to obtain a paper ballot at the polling place on election day to vote?
The ignored Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution may give guidance on the answer.
Randy Barnett
26 Valparaiso University Law Review 419 (1991)
CATO 9th Amendment Unenumerated Rights
GPO ACCESS 9th Amendment unenumerated rights
Emory Law Journal Fall 1993
967 Our declaratory Ninth Amendment John Choon Yoo
Compilation of resources only, not necessarily an endorsement of the site, or writer, author, organization, etc.

discussion and information

HAVA Update April 11, 2005


Vote Act of 2002,” known as HAVA. This significant piece of national election ... Provide voters an opportunity to check for and correct ballot errors  ...

Section 1: Compliance with Requirements of Title II

Section 254(a)(1), page 72
How the state will use the requirements payment to meet the requirements of Title III, and, if applicable under Section 251(a)(2), to carry out other activities to improve the administration of elections.

Title III, commencing with Section 301 (page 96), sets forth “Uniform and Non-Discriminatory Election Technology and Administration Requirements.”

Below is a summary of the requirements of Title III of HAVA and how California will use the requirements payment to comply with that federal law. It should be noted that, pursuant to Section 305 (page 124), the specific choices on the methods of complying with the requirements of Title III are left to the discretion of the State.

A. Voting Systems Standards
Section 301(a), pages 96-102
Federal Law
HAVA requires that each voting system used in a federal election on or after January 1, 2006, meet each of the following requirements.

Balloting errors
The voting system must permit the voter to verify privately and independently the votes selected before casting a ballot and must permit the voter privately and independently to change or correct a ballot before it is cast, including receiving a replacement ballot.
Note that the requirement that a voting system permit the voter to verify the votes selected before casting a ballot may not be defined in a manner that makes it impossible for a paper ballot voting system to meet the new requirements of HAVA.

Voter notice on overvoting and correction
The voting system must:

  • notify the voter of an overvote (casting votes for more candidates than allowed);
  • notify the voter of the effect of overvoting (i.e. the vote for that office will not be counted);
  • provide the voter with the opportunity to correct the ballot, if he or she has overvoted.

Paper-based voting systems compliance
Paper-based voting systems, including absentee balloting systems, may meet the above requirements with:

  • voting-system specific voter education programs notifying the voter of the effect of overvoting;
  • instructions on how to correct a ballot before it is cast, including instructions on obtaining a replacement ballot; and
  • system designs that preserve voter confidentiality.

Contact Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Elections with questions about this right in Pennsylvania
Ready Set Vote
Voter Education Materials

Richard D. King, Jr. letter to PA Governor's Election Reform Task Force

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