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(1) County election administrators shall allow electors with disabilities, as defined in 13-3-202, MCA, to receive election materials electronically as long as the security of transmission and identity of each elector is confirmed and facilities are available to maintain the accuracy, integrity, and secrecy of the ballot process. The following procedures shall be followed, wherever applicable, in regard to the transition of election materials from the election administrator to electors electronically:

(a) A county election administrator must use a system that is secure from unauthorized access.

(b) When an election administrator receives a valid application for electronic transmission of a ballot from an elector with disabilities, the election administrator shall, subject to (1), e-mail the elector the ballot, instructions to the elector, and a transmittal cover sheet that includes an elector affirmation. A ballot secrecy envelope or page and a ballot signature envelope shall be provided either electronically or through the mail to each elector with a valid application for electronic ballot.  The original ballot shall be retained in a secure absentee envelope or container for that purpose.

(c) The election administrator shall keep an official log of all ballots transmitted electronically.

(d) After the voted ballot and affirmation are received at the office of the election administrator, the transmittal cover sheet with affirmation must be retained in a sealed envelope or container separately from the ballot.

(e) No sooner than the time permitted for preparation of ballots pursuant to 13-13-241, MCA, the election administrator shall have the returned ballots transcribed using the procedure prescribed below. If the received ballot is acceptable pursuant to the requirements of 13-13-246, MCA, the election administrator shall:

(i)  if the ballot was returned in a secrecy envelope, without opening the secrecy envelope containing the voted ballot, log in the receipt of the ballot and place it in the secure absentee envelope or container with the original ballot; or

(ii)  if the ballot was returned using a secrecy page, to ensure the ballot is not revealed to anyone, place the printed electronically submitted ballot and secrecy page into an appropriate envelope and then place it in the secure absentee envelope or container with the original ballot.

(f) On the day before election day or on election day, the election administrator shall have the returned ballots transcribed using the procedure prescribed below.

(g) The voted ballot must be transcribed in a manner that ensures that no one transcribing the ballot has access to the name of the elector who voted the ballot.

(h) No less than three election officials shall participate in the transcription process to transfer the elector's votes from a received ballot, as applicable, to the standard ballot used in the precinct.

(i) An electronically transmitted ballot identifying number shall be written on the original transcribed ballot, the envelope containing the voted ballot and the electronically transmitted ballot, and in the official transcription log.

(j) The election officials who transcribed the electronically transmitted ballot shall sign the log for each ballot they transcribe.

(k) No one participating in the electronic ballot transmission or transcription process may reveal any information about the elector's identity or the votes on the elector's ballot.


History: 13-13-246, MCA; IMP, 13-13-246, MCA; NEW, 2015 MAR p. 1286, Eff. 10/1/15; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 839, Eff. 5/28/22; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 1768, Eff. 9/10/22.

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