(a) Whenever voting machines are used for municipal elections, the key or keys to the voting machine or machines, still in the envelopes in which they were placed when the machines were sealed for this election pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 11-46-33 and with the seals thereof unbroken and all other necessary election supplies shall be delivered to the inspector of each poll at least 30 minutes before the time for opening the polls. The inspector shall compare the number appearing on the envelope containing the key or keys with the number shown in the protective counter, and, if these numbers are not identical, he shall not break the seal on the envelope containing the keys, and he shall immediately so notify the municipal clerk or his representative, who shall immediately deliver the correct key or keys or another properly sealed machine. If the numbers on the envelope and the respective numbers on the seal and on the protective counter are found to be the same, the inspectors shall open the door concealing the counters.
(b) Before the polls are declared open the election officials and each authorized watcher or any interested person shall carefully examine each and every counter and see that it registers zero and shall examine the ballots and satisfy themselves that the ballots are in their proper place on the machine. The election officials shall post the sample ballots and the model for the guidance of voters at conspicuous points about the polling place. All persons authorized to be in the polling place shall satisfy themselves that the voting machine is properly placed and that the face of the machine is turned so that the election officials and the public may obtain a clear and unobstructed view of the same at all times except when the curtain on the machine is closed for the casting of the ballot.
(c) The election officials and at least two watchers of opposing interests (if any there shall be) shall then sign a certificate setting out that the keys were delivered intact, that the numbers on the protective counter and seal correspond with that on the envelope, that all the counters were set at zero and that the ballot labels were in their proper places. If any counter, however, does not register zero, the inspector shall summon the custodian of the machine, who shall set the counter back to zero.
(d) The machine shall then be opened for voting and the polls formally declared open.
Last modified: May 3, 2021