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Procedure for examination of ballots, voting machines, etc.; bond.
In all election contests involving elections other than party primaries or runoffs:
(1) The examining person or candidate seeking to examine the ballots, electronic voting machines, or electronic voting machine computations or printouts must move, within 10 days of the filing of the contest, the court before whom the election contest is pending for an examination. The court shall set a hearing on the motion for examination which must take place within 10 days after service of the motion on the parties and candidates involved in the election contest. The hearing shall be held to determine the procedures to be used for the examination and the court shall, within five days after the hearing, set forth the procedures for the examination. Absent a subsequent court order extending the time for reasonable cause shown, the examination must be finished within 15 days of the court order which sets forth the examination procedures.
(2) Examination procedures shall be within the discretion of the court. The court shall consider, in determining appropriate procedures, the need to preserve the integrity of the ballots, electronic voting machines, and electronic voting machine computations and printouts; the need to ensure that votes were accurately cast and counted; the need to ensure that all persons and candidates involved in the election have the opportunity to observe the examination and ensure that an examination does not wrongfully alter the election results; the need to expeditiously conclude the election contest; and any other factor which is relevant to the integrity of the election process. The court must, when so requested by any party or candidate involved in the contest, allow such party or candidate, and his or her agents, to observe all of the examination proceedings.
(3) The court shall require the examining party or candidate to make a deposit with the court or post a bond in a sum adequate to ensure prompt payment of all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses incurred by any governmental entity during and as a result of the examination. If the examining person or candidate prevails in the election contest as a result of information obtained from the examination of the ballots, electronic voting machines, or electronic voting machine computations or printouts, he or she shall not be responsible for any expenses or costs incurred by any governmental entity during and as a result of the examination.
(Acts 1989, No. 89-877, p. 1757, §2; Code 1975 §17-8-46; §17-15-7; amended and renumbered by Act 2006-570, p. 1331, §83.)