(b) The Department of State shall adopt specific rules for the federal write-in absentee ballot and for each certified voting system prescribing what constitutes a “clear indication on the ballot that the voter has made a definite choice.” The rules shall be consistent, to the extent practicable, and may not:
1. Authorize the use of any electronic or electromechanical reading device to review a hybrid voting system ballot that is produced using a voter interface device and that contains both machine-readable fields and machine-printed text of the contest titles and voter selections, unless the printed text is illegible;
2. Exclusively provide that the voter must properly mark or designate his or her choice on the ballot; or
3. Contain a catch-all provision that fails to identify specific standards, such as “any other mark or indication clearly indicating that the voter has made a definite choice.”
(c) The rule for the federal write-in absentee ballot must address, at a minimum, the following issues:
1. The appropriate lines or spaces for designating a candidate choice and, for state and local races, the office or ballot measure to be voted, including the proximity of each to the other and the effect of intervening blank lines.
2. The sufficiency of designating a candidate’s first or last name when no other candidate in the race has the same or a similar name.
3. The sufficiency of designating a candidate’s first or last name when an opposing candidate has the same or a similar name, notwithstanding generational suffixes and titles such as “Jr.,” “Sr.,” or “III.” The rule should contemplate the sufficiency of additional first names and first initials, middle names and middle initials, generational suffixes and titles, nicknames, and, in general elections, the name or abbreviation of a political party.
4. Candidate designations containing both a qualified candidate’s name and a political party, including those in which the party designated is the candidate’s party, is not the candidate’s party, has an opposing candidate in the race, or does not have an opposing candidate in the race.
5. Situations where the abbreviation or name of a candidate is the same as the abbreviation or name of a political party to which the candidate does not belong, including those in which the party designated has another candidate in the race or does not have a candidate in the race.
6. The use of marks, symbols, or language, such as arrows, quotation marks, or the word “same” or “ditto,” to indicate that the same political party designation applies to all listed offices or the elector’s approval or disapproval of all listed ballot measures.
7. Situations in which an elector designates the name of a qualified candidate for an incorrect office.
8. Situations in which an elector designates an otherwise correct office name that includes an incorrect district number.