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§ 3050. Manner of applying to vote; persons entitled to vote; voter's certificates; entries...

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 25 P.S. Elections & Electoral DistrictsEffective: March 14, 2012

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 25 P.S. Elections & Electoral Districts (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 14. Election Code (Refs & Annos)
Article XII. Preparation for and Conduct of Primaries and Elections
Effective: March 14, 2012
25 P.S. § 3050
§ 3050. Manner of applying to vote; persons entitled to vote; voter's certificates; entries to be made in district register; numbered lists of voters; challenges
(a) At every primary and election each elector who appears to vote and who desires to vote shall first present to an election officer proof of identification. The election officer shall examine the proof of identification presented by the elector and sign an affidavit stating that this has been done.
(a.1) Deleted by 2012, March 14, P.L. 195, No. 18, § 3, imd. effective.
(a.2) If any of the following apply, the elector shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot in accordance with subsection (a.4):
(1) The elector is unable to produce proof of identification:
(i) on the grounds that the elector is indigent and unable to obtain proof of identification without the payment of a fee; or
(ii) on any other grounds.
(2) The elector's proof of identification is challenged by the judge of elections.
(a.3)(1) All electors, including any elector that shows proof of identification pursuant to subsection (a), shall subsequently sign a voter's certificate in blue, black or blue-black ink with a fountain pen or ball point pen, and, unless he is a State or Federal employe who has registered under any registration act without declaring his residence by street and number, he shall insert his address therein, and hand the same to the election officer in charge of the district register.
(2) Such election officer shall thereupon announce the elector's name so that it may be heard by all members of the election board and by all watchers present in the polling place and shall compare the elector's signature on his voter's certificate with his signature in the district register. If, upon such comparison, the signature upon the voter's certificate appears to be genuine, the elector who has signed the certificate shall, if otherwise qualified, be permitted to vote: Provided, That if the signature on the voter's certificate, as compared with the signature as recorded in the district register, shall not be deemed authentic by any of the election officers, such elector shall not be denied the right to vote for that reason, but shall be considered challenged as to identity and required to make the affidavit and produce the evidence as provided in subsection (d) of this section.
(3) When an elector has been found entitled to vote, the election officer who examined his voter's certificate and compared his signature shall sign his name or initials on the voter's certificate, shall, if the elector's signature is not readily legible, print such elector's name over his signature, and the number of the stub of the ballot issued to him or his number in the order of admission to the voting machines, and at primaries a letter or abbreviation designating the party in whose primary he votes shall also be entered by one of the election officers or clerks.
(4) As each voter is found to be qualified and votes, the election officer in charge of the district register shall write or stamp the date of the election or primary, the number of the stub of the ballot issued to him or his number in the order of admission to the voting machines, and at primaries a letter or abbreviation designating the party in whose primary he votes, and shall sign his name or initials in the proper space on the registration card of such voter contained in the district register.
(5) As each voter votes, his name in the order of voting shall be recorded in two (2) numbered lists of voters provided for that purpose, with the addition of a note of each voter's party enrollment after his name at primaries.
(a.4)(1) At all elections an individual who claims to be properly registered and eligible to vote at the election district but whose name does not appear on the district register and whose registration cannot be determined by the inspectors of election or the county election board shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. Individuals who appear to vote shall be required to produce proof of identification pursuant to subsection (a) and if unable to do so shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. An individual presenting a judicial order to vote shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot.
(2) Prior to voting the provisional ballot, the elector shall be required to sign an affidavit stating the following:
I do solemnly swear or affirm that my name is __________, that my date of birth is __________, and at the time that I registered I resided at __________ in the municipality of __________ in __________ County of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and that this is the only ballot that I cast in this election.
Signature of Voter/Elector
Current Address
Check the Reason for Casting the Provisional Ballot.
Signed by Judge of Elections and minority inspector
(3) After the provisional ballot has been cast, the individual shall place it in a secrecy envelope. The individual shall place the secrecy envelope in the provisional ballot envelope and shall place his signature on the front of the provisional ballot envelope. All provisional ballots shall remain sealed in their provisional ballot envelopes for return to the county board of elections.
(4) Within seven calendar days of the election, the county board of elections shall examine each provisional ballot envelope that is received to determine if the individual voting that ballot was entitled to vote at the election district in the election. One authorized representative of each candidate in an election and one representative from each political party shall be permitted to remain in the room in which the determination is being made. Representatives shall be permitted to keep a list of those persons who cast a provisional ballot and shall be entitled to challenge any determination of the county board of elections with respect to the counting or partial counting of the ballot under this section. Upon challenge of any provisional ballot under this clause, the ballot envelope shall be marked “challenged” together with the reason for the challenge, and the provisional ballot shall be set aside pending final determination of the challenge according to the following procedure:
(i) Provisional ballots marked “challenged” shall be placed unopened in a secure, safe and sealed container in the custody of the county board of elections until it shall fix a time and place for a formal hearing of all such challenges, and notice shall be given where possible to all provisional electors thus challenged and to every attorney, watcher or candidate who made the challenge.
(ii) The time for the hearing shall not be later than seven days after the date of the challenge.
(iii) On the day fixed for the hearing, the county board shall proceed without delay to hear the challenges and, in hearing the testimony, the county board shall not be bound by the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence.
(iv) The testimony presented shall be stenographically recorded and made part of the record of the hearing.
(v) The decision of the county board in upholding or dismissing any challenge may be reviewed by the court of common pleas of the county upon a petition filed by any petitioner aggrieved by the decision of the county board. The appeal shall be taken, within two days after the decision was made, whether the decision was reduced to writing or not, to the court of common pleas setting forth the objections to the county board's decision and praying for an order reversing the decision.
(vi) Pending the final determination of all appeals, the county board shall suspend any action in canvassing and computing all challenged provisional ballots irrespective of whether or not an appeal was taken from the county board's decision.
(vii) Upon completion of the computation of the returns of the county, the votes cast upon the challenged official provisional ballots shall be added to the other votes cast within the county.
(5)(i) Except as provided in subclause (ii), if it is determined that the individual was registered and entitled to vote at the election district where the ballot was cast, the county board of elections shall compare the signature on the provisional ballot envelope with the signature on the elector's registration form and, if the signatures are determined to be genuine, shall count the ballot if the county board of elections confirms that the individual did not cast any other ballot, including an absentee ballot, in the election.
(ii) A provisional ballot shall not be counted if:
(A) either the provisional ballot envelope under clause (3) or the affidavit under clause (2) is not signed by the individual;
(B) the signature required under clause (3) and the signature required under clause (2) are either not genuine or are not executed by the same individual;
(C) a provisional ballot envelope does not contain a secrecy envelope;
(D) in the case of a provisional ballot that was cast under subsection (a.2)(1)(i), within six calendar days following the election the elector fails to appear before the county board of elections to execute an affirmation or the county board of elections does not receive an electronic, facsimile or paper copy of an affirmation affirming, under penalty of perjury, that the elector is the same individual who personally appeared before the district election board on the day of the election and cast a provisional ballot and that the elector is indigent and unable to obtain proof of identification without the payment of a fee; or
(E) in the case of a provisional ballot that was cast under subsection (a.2)(1)(ii), within six calendar days following the election, the elector fails to appear before the county board of elections to present proof of identification and execute an affirmation or the county board of elections does not receive an electronic, facsimile or paper copy of the proof of identification and an affirmation affirming, under penalty of perjury, that the elector is the same individual who personally appeared before the district election board on the day of the election and cast a provisional ballot.
(iii) One authorized representative of each candidate in an election and one representative from each party shall be permitted to remain in the room in which deliberation or determination of subclause (ii) is being made.
(6) If it is determined that the individual voting the provisional ballot was not registered, the provisional ballot shall not be counted and the ballot shall remain in the provisional ballot envelope and shall be marked “Rejected as Ineligible.”
(7) The following shall apply:
(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), if it is determined that the individual voting the provisional ballot was eligible to vote in the county in which the ballot was cast but not at the election district where the ballot was cast, the county board of elections shall open the envelope and only count that portion of the ballot that the individual would have been eligible to vote in his proper election district and at the election district where the vote was cast if:
(A) the county board of elections confirms that the individual did not cast any other ballot, including an absentee ballot, in the election; and
(B) the individual casting the provisional ballot is a resident of the county in which the provisional ballot was cast.
(ii) In the event that the individual casting the provisional ballot is not found to be a resident of the county in which the provisional ballot was cast, the ballot shall not be counted.
(iii) In the event that the board of elections determines, based on an evidentiary record, that the individual intentionally and wilfully cast a provisional ballot in an election district in which the individual was not eligible to vote, the ballot shall not be counted.
(8) On election night, immediately upon completion of the count and tabulation of the votes cast, the judge of election shall prepare and certify under oath a tally displaying the number of provisional ballots received from the election board and the number of provisional ballots cast and transmitted to the county board of elections. The judge of election shall record on the tabulation the name of the individual into whose possession the provisional ballots were passed for transmission to the county board of elections.
(9) All provisional ballots and the tally of provisional ballots tabulated under clause (8) in the possession of an election board official shall be promptly returned by the judge of election to the custody of the proper county election board in accordance with sections 1113-A(j)1, 1225(b)2 and 1228(a)3.
(10) One authorized representative of each candidate in an election and one representative from each political party shall be permitted to remain in the room where provisional ballots are received by the county board of elections.
(11) The department shall establish a World Wide Web site and a toll-free telephone number to permit an individual who cast a provisional ballot to determine whether the vote of that individual was counted and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that it was not counted.
(12) For purposes of this subsection, “provisional ballot” means a ballot issued to an individual who claims to be a registered elector by the judge of elections on election day when the individual's name does not appear on the general register and the individual's registration cannot be verified.
(b) If any elector was unable to sign his name at the time of registration, or, if having been able to sign his name when registered, he subsequently shall have lost his sight or lost the hand with which he was accustomed to sign his name, or shall have been otherwise rendered by disease or accident unable to sign his name when he applies to vote, he shall establish his identity to the satisfaction of the election officers, and in such case he shall not be required to sign a voter's certificate, but a certificate shall be prepared for him by one of the election officers, upon which the facts as to such disability shall be noted and attested by the signature of such election officer.
(c) No person who applies to vote shall be permitted by any election officer or clerk or other person to see the signature recorded as his in the district register until after he shall have signed his name to the voter's certificate.
(d) No person, except a qualified elector who is in actual military or naval service under a requisition of the President of the United States or by the authority of this Commonwealth, and who votes under the provisions of Article XIII4 of this act, shall be entitled or permitted to vote at any primary or election at any polling place outside the election district in which he resides, nor shall he be permitted to vote in the election district in which he resides, unless he has been personally registered as an elector and his registration card appears in the district register of such election district, except by order of the court of common pleas as provided in this act, and any person, although personally registered as an elector, may be challenged by any qualified elector, election officer, overseer, or watcher at any primary or election as to his identity, as to his continued residence in the election district or as to any alleged violation of the provisions of section 12105 of this act, and if challenged as to identity or residence, he shall produce at least one qualified elector of the election district as a witness, who shall make affidavit of his identity or continued residence in the election district: Provided, however, That no person shall be entitled to vote as a member of a party at any primary, unless he is registered and enrolled as a member of such party upon the district register, which enrollment shall be conclusive as to his party membership and shall not be subject to challenge on the day of the primary.
(e) A person who wilfully commits fraud or who conspires to wilfully commit fraud in relation to any of the provisions of this section commits a felony of the third degree and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) or to undergo a term of imprisonment of not more than seven years, or both. An individual convicted under this subsection shall be barred for life from serving as a judge, inspector or clerk of election, machine inspector translator, county election board official, poll watcher or in any other official capacity relating to the sanctity, observation or conduct of Pennsylvania elections.
(f) As used in this section, “care facility” means any of the following:
(1) A long-term care nursing facility as defined in section 802.1 of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L. 130, No. 48),6 known as the “Health Care Facilities Act.”
(2) An assisted living residence or a personal care home as defined in section 1001 of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L. 31, No. 21),7 known as the “Public Welfare Code.”

Credits

1937, June 3, P.L. 1333, art. XII, § 1210. Amended 1982, June 10, P.L. 458, No. 135, § 2, effective in 60 days; 2002, Dec. 9, P.L. 1246, No. 150, § 12, effective in 1 year; 2004, Oct. 8, P.L. 807, No. 97, § 5.1; 2006, May 11, P.L. 178, No. 45, § 10, effective July 1, 2006; 2012, March 14, P.L. 195, No. 18, § 3, imd. effective.
VALIDITY
<25 P.S. § 3050 was held unconstitutional, and enforcement of its in-person photographic identification provisions permanently enjoined, by Applewhite v. Com., 2014 WL 184988 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2014).>
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
Act 2002-150 legislation
Act 2002-150, § 12, rewrote the section, which prior thereto read:
“(a) At every primary and election each elector who desires to vote shall first sign a voter's certificate, and, unless he is a State or Federal employe who has registered under any registration act without declaring his residence by street and number, he shall insert his address therein, and hand the same to the election officer in charge of the district register. Such election officer shall thereupon announce the elector's name so that it may be heard by all members of the election board and by all watchers present in the polling place and shall compare the elector's signature on his voter's certificate with his signature in the district register. If, upon such comparison, the signature upon the voter's certificate appears to be genuine, the elector who has signed the certificate shall, if otherwise qualified, be permitted to vote: Provided, That if the signature on the voter's certificate, as compared with the signature as recorded in the district register, shall not be deemed authentic by any of the election officers, such elector shall not be denied the right to vote for that reason, but shall be considered challenged as to identity and required to make the affidavit and produce the evidence as provided in subsection (d) of this section. When an elector has been found entitled to vote, the election officer who examined his voter's certificate and compared his signature shall sign his name or initials on the voter's certificate, shall, if the elector's signature is not readily legible, print such elector's name over his signature, and the number of the stub of the ballot issued to him or his number in the order of admission to the voting machines, and at primaries a letter or abbreviation designating the party in whose primary he votes shall also be entered by one of the election officers or clerks. As each voter is found to be qualified and votes, the election officer in charge of the district register shall write or stamp the date of the election or primary, the number of the stub of the ballot issued to him or his number in the order of admission to the voting machines, and at primaries a letter or abbreviation designating the party in whose primary he votes, and shall sign his name or initials in the proper space on the registration card of such voter contained in the district register.
“As each voter votes, his name in the order of voting shall be recorded in two (2) numbered lists of voters provided for that purpose, with the addition of a note of each voter's party enrollment after his name at primaries.
“(b) If any elector was unable to sign his name at the time of registration, or, if having been able to sign his name when registered, he subsequently shall have lost his sight or lost the hand with which he was accustomed to sign his name, or shall have been otherwise rendered by disease or accident unable to sign his name when he applies to vote, he shall establish his identity to the satisfaction of the election officers, and in such case he shall not be required to sign a voter's certificate, but a certificate shall be prepared for him by one of the election officers, upon which the facts as to such disability shall be noted and attested by the signature of such election officer.
“(c) No person who applies to vote shall be permitted by any election officer or clerk or other person to see the signature recorded as his in the district register until after he shall have signed his name to the voter's certificate.
“(d) No person, except a qualified elector who is in actual military or naval service under a requisition of the President of the United States or by the authority of this Commonwealth, and who votes under the provisions of Article XIII of this act, shall be entitled or permitted to vote at any primary or election at any polling place outside the election district in which he resides, nor shall he be permitted to vote in the election district in which he resides, unless he has been personally registered as an elector and his registration card appears in the district register of such election district, except by order of the court of common pleas as provided in this act, and any person, although personally registered as an elector, may be challenged by any qualified elector, election officer, overseer, or watcher at any primary or election as to his identity, as to his continued residence in the election district or as to any alleged violation of the provisions of section 1210 of this act, and if challenged as to identity or residence, he shall produce at least one qualified elector of the election district as a witness, who shall make affidavit of his identity or continued residence in the election district: Provided, however, That no person shall be entitled to vote as a member of a party at any primary, unless he is registered and enrolled as a member of such party upon the district register, which enrollment shall be conclusive as to his party membership and shall not be subject to challenge on the day of the primary.”
Act 2004-97 legislation
Act 2004-97, § 5.1, in both subsecs. (a) and (a.1), inserted “and sign an affidavit stating that this has been done” at the end; rewrote subsec. (a.4), which had read:
“(1) At all elections an individual who claims to be properly registered and eligible to vote at the election district but whose name does not appear on the general register and whose registration cannot be determined by the inspectors of election or the county election board shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. Individuals who are voting for the first time at the election district shall be required to produce identification pursuant to subsection (a) or (a.1) and if unable to do so shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. An individual presenting a judicial order to vote shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot.
“(2) Prior to voting the provisional ballot, the elector shall be required to sign an affidavit stating the following:
“I do solemnly swear or affirm that my name is _____________, that my date of birth is ___________, and at the time that I registered I resided at _______________ in the municipality of ______________ in _____________ County of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and that this is the only ballot that I cast in this election.
“Signature of Voter/Elector
“Current Address
“Signed by Judge of Elections and minority inspector
“(3) After the provisional ballot has been cast, the individual shall place it in a secrecy envelope. The individual shall place the secrecy envelope in the provisional ballot envelope and shall place his signature on the front of the provisional ballot envelope. All provisional ballots shall remain sealed in their provisional ballot envelopes for return to the county board of elections.
“(4) Within three business days of the election, the county board of elections shall examine each provisional ballot envelope to determine if the individual voting that ballot was entitled to vote at the election district in the election. One authorized representative of each candidate in a primary or election, who is an elector in the county, shall be permitted to remain in the room in which the determination is being made if he does not impede the orderly conduct of the determination.
“(5) If it is determined that the individual was registered and entitled to vote at the election district where the ballot was cast, the county board of elections shall compare the signature on the provisional ballot envelope with the signature on the elector's registration form and, if the signatures are determined to be genuine, count the ballot.
“(6) If it is determined that the individual voting the provisional ballot was not registered, the provisional ballot shall not be counted and the ballot shall remain in the provisional ballot envelope and shall be marked “Rejected as Ineligible.”
“(7) If it is determined that the individual voting the provisional ballot was eligible to vote but not at the election district where the ballot was cast, the county board of elections shall open the envelope and only count that portion of the ballot that the individual would have been eligible to vote in his proper election district and at the election district where the vote was cast.
“(8) The department shall establish a World Wide Web site and a toll-free telephone number to permit an individual who cast a provisional ballot to determine whether the vote of that individual was counted and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that it was not counted.
“(9) For purposes of this subsection, ‘provisional ballot’ means a ballot issued to an individual who claims to be a registered elector by the judge of elections on election day when the individual's name does not appear on the general register and the individual's registration cannot be verified.”
; and added subsec. (e).
Sections 13.1 and 14 of 2004, Oct. 8, P.L. 807, No. 97, imd. effective, provide:
Ҥ 13.1. The amendment of section 1210 of the act [this section] shall apply to all elections occurring on or after December 31, 2004.
Ҥ 14. This act shall take effect as follows:
“(1) The amendment of section 1210(a), (a.1) and (a.4) of the act [subsecs. (a), (a.1) and (a.4) of this section] shall take effect in one year [Oct. 8, 2005].
“(2) The remainder of this act shall take effect immediately.”
Act 2006-45 legislation
Act 2006-45, § 10, in subsec. (a.3), in the first paragraph, inserted “in blue, black or blue-black ink with a fountain pen or ball point pen”.
Act 2012-18 legislation
Act 2012-18, § 3, rewrote subsec. (a), which prior thereto read:
“(a) At every primary and election each elector who appears to vote in that election district for the first time and who desires to vote shall first present to an election officer one of the following forms of photo identification:
“(1) a valid driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Transportation;
“(2) a valid identification card issued by any other agency of the Commonwealth;
“(3) a valid identification card issued by the United States Government;
“(4) a valid United States passport;
“(5) a valid student identification card;
“(6) a valid employe identification card; or
“(7) a valid armed forces of the United States identification card.
“The election officer shall examine the identification presented by the elector and sign an affidavit stating that this has been done.”
; deleted subsec. (a.1), which read:
“(a.1) Where the elector does not have a photo identification as provided for in subsection (a), the elector shall present for examination one of the following forms of identification that shows the name and address of the elector:
“(1) nonphoto identification issued by the Commonwealth, or any agency thereof;
“(2) nonphoto identification issued by the United States Government, or agency thereof;
“(3) a firearm permit;
“(4) a current utility bill;
“(5) a current bank statement;
“(6) a paycheck;
“(7) a government check.
“The election officer shall examine the identification presented by the elector and sign an affidavit stating that this has been done.”
; rewrote subsec. (a.2), which prior thereto read:
“(a.2) If the elector is unable to produce identification or the elector's identification is challenged by the judge of elections, the elector shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot in accordance with subsection (a.4).”
; in subsec. (a.3), designated the former first sentence as par. (1) and therein inserted “proof of”, designated the former second and third sentences as par. (2), designated the former fourth sentence as par. (3), designated the former fifth sentence as par. (4), and designated the former sixth sentence as par. (5); in subsec. (a.4)(1), substituted “Individuals who appear to vote shall be required to produce proof of identification pursuant to subsection (a)” for “Individuals who are voting for the first time at the election district shall be required to produce identification pursuant to subsection (a) or (a.1)”; and added subsecs. (a.4)(5)(ii)(D) and (E) and (f).
Section 10 of 2012, March 14, P.L. 195, No. 18, § 10, imd. effective, provides that “[t]he following shall apply to elections held after January 1, 2012, and prior to September 17, 2012:
“(1)(i) Except as provided under subparagraph (ii) and notwithstanding any law, election officials at the polling place at an election held after January 1, 2012, shall request that every elector show proof of identification.
“(ii) Notwithstanding subparagraph (i), prior to September 17, 2012, if the elector does not provide proof of identification and the elector is otherwise qualified, the elector may cast a ballot that shall be counted without the necessity of presenting proof of identification and without the necessity of casting a provisional ballot, except as required by the act.
“(2) Beginning January 1, 2012, if any elector votes at a polling place at an election and does not provide proof of identification and will be required to provide proof of identification beginning September 17, 2012, the election official that requested the proof of identification shall provide to the elector written information prescribed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth briefly describing the voter identification requirement created by this act and inform the elector that he or she will be required to comply with that requirement when voting at future elections beginning September 17, 2012, unless an exemption applies.”
Section 11 of 2012, March 14, P.L. 195, No. 18, imd. effective, provides that “[t]he amendment of sections 102, 1210, 1302, 1302.2, 1305, 1308 and 1309 of the act [25 P.S. §§ 2602, 3050, 3146.2, 3146.2b, 3146.5, 3146.8, 3146.9] shall apply to elections held after September 17, 2012.”
Commonwealth Court Preliminary Injunction
Order of the Commonwealth Court in Applewhite v. Commonwealth, Docket No. 330 M.D. 2012, Oct. 2, 2012 (2012 WL 4497211), enjoined enforcement of that part of Act 2012-18 which amended 25 P.S. § 3050(a.2) and (a.4)(5)(ii), for the general election of Nov. 6, 2012. Additionally, said Order extended the transition procedures described in Act 2012-18, § 10(1) beyond Sept. 17, 2012 and through the general election of Nov. 6, 2012, and authorized the Commonwealth to follow the transition procedures described in Act 2012-18, § 10(2) (relating to additional education efforts directed at those not showing proof of identification for in-person voting) for the general election of Nov. 6, 2012.

Footnotes

25 P.S. § 3031.13.
25 P.S. § 3065.
25 P.S. § 3068.
25 P.S. § 3146.1 et seq.
This section.
35 P.S. § 448.802a.
62 P.S. § 1001 et seq.
25 P.S. § 3050, PA ST 25 P.S. § 3050
Current through 2018 Regular Session Acts 1 to 87, 89 to 94, 97, 105, 107, 108, 111, 115, 124, 128, 131 to 133, 145, 153, 156, 158, 159, 161, 163 and 164
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