A recently animated motion to eradicate ballot counting machines in New Hampshire stalled out this week at the Point out Household and in town elections, wherever the issue was on the ballot in about a dozen communities.
On Wednesday, the Household Election Legislation Committee unanimously voted versus a bill that would have expected all long term elections in New Hampshire to be hand counted. And the day prior to, voters across the state turned down related mandates at the community stage.
Cities and towns can pick whether to count ballots by hand or by equipment. Most decide to use the AccuVote, the only machine now approved for use in New Hampshire, and hand-counting is largely limited to cities with 2,000 voters or less.
Nearby activists and some Republican point out lawmakers, spurred by mistrust in the outcome of the 2020 election, have been pushing to hand rely all of New Hampshire’s long run elections. In addition to rallying behind a monthly bill to ban machines statewide, they also arranged petition drives to put the situation ahead of voters in a handful of communities this spring.
Home Election Legislation Committee Chairwoman Barbara Griffin, a Republican from Goffstown, claimed members of the panel waited to finalize their impression on the statewide ban on vote-counting machines until voters had a chance to weigh in on the difficulty in Tuesday’s town elections.
“There is no town that voted yesterday that supported the elimination of the counting gadgets that are at the moment made use of,” Griffin explained. “So I believe that to call for this for each and every group in the condition would not be appropriate.”
Griffin claimed the Ballot Legislation Fee has the final authority about ballot counting devices in New Hampshire, and this laws could also interfere with that. The comprehensive Household will continue to have a opportunity to weigh in on the bill at an upcoming session.
When it is not apparent just how several communities were being voting on very similar measures this town assembly year, NHPR confirmed the issue was on the ballot in at least 10 cities in Tuesday’s elections. In most of individuals communities, voters overwhelmingly supported preserving their vote-counting equipment. Other communities could consider up the problem in city conferences afterwards this week.
Only in Milton, where people ended up requested regardless of whether their area moderator “must consider” transferring to a hand rely, was the vote near: 329 people today supported the measure, even though 340 opposed.
The evaluate also unsuccessful in Windham, exactly where the recent campaign to eradicate New Hampshire’s voting devices commenced. There, 61% of voters supported sticking with their ballot counting units.
A person local community did recently opt to revert to hand counting, however the problem was not on the ballot in the course of Tuesday’s city conference. Milan City Clerk Cynthia Woodward claimed she recently advised her find board that hand counting would be a far better healthy, due to the sizing of the voting populace and the cost of retaining up with maintaining the town’s ballot counting product.
With only about 800 voters, Milan was a person of the smallest communities in the condition to count by machine — until eventually this spring. Woodward stated the town wished to hand count its neighborhood elections this 7 days to prepare for the larger point out and federal elections coming up this slide.
And when some activists questioning the integrity of the ballot counting units pointed to Milan as a victory for their cause, Woodward explained her choice wasn’t pushed by any fears about election security.
“Our devices are pretty secure,” she said.
NHPR’s Todd Bookman contributed to this tale.
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