Bill Text - HB105 (2009)

Relative to voting machines for the counting of ballots.


Revision: Jan. 12, 2009, midnight

HB 105 – AS INTRODUCED

2009 SESSION

09-0433

03/04

HOUSE BILL 105

AN ACT relative to voting machines for the counting of ballots.

SPONSORS: Rep. Horrigan, Straf 7

COMMITTEE: Election Law

ANALYSIS

This bill requires that ballot counting machines use open source software. This bill also eliminates references in the voting machine enabling laws to machines or devices for casting ballots.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

09-0433

03/04

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine

AN ACT relative to voting machines for the counting of ballots.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Voting Machines; Adoption and Approval. Amend RSA 656:40 and RSA 656:41 to read as follows:

656:40 Adoption. The mayor and aldermen of any city or the selectmen of any town, subject to the approval of the ballot law commission, may authorize the use of one or more voting machines or devices for computerized [casting and] counting of ballots in such city or town on a trial basis for any regular or special election and pay the expense of such trial from any available funds. The use of such machines or devices so authorized shall be valid for all purposes. Any town, or the mayor and aldermen of any city, may vote to lease or purchase voting machines or devices for the elections held in said town or city. Any town, or the mayor and aldermen of any city, so acting shall notify the secretary of state of the action taken in regard to voting machines or devices; and, after said action, voting machines or devices shall be used in said town or city in accordance with said vote or authorization. Notwithstanding any vote of adoption of voting machines, the mayor and aldermen of any city or the selectmen of any town may petition the ballot law commission to allow the use of paper ballots in any one or more elections.

656:41 Approval by Ballot Law Commission. The ballot law commission shall act as a board to examine voting machines and devices for computerized [casting and] counting of ballots. The commission shall, whenever requested, examine any voting machine or device which may be capable of meeting the requirements for elections held in this state. The commission shall approve such voting machine or device in its discretion, and no voting machine or device shall be used in any election in this state unless it reads the voter’s choice on a paper ballot, uses open source software, and is of a type so approved by the ballot law commission. Any voting machine or device that is altered must be re-approved before it is used in any election in this state. For the purposes of this section, a machine shall be considered altered if any mechanical or electronic part, hardware, software, or programming has been altered.

2 Casting Deleted. Amend RSA 656:42, I to read as follows:

I. The ballot law commission shall make such rules as may be necessary to ensure the accuracy of voting machines or devices, including rules for the testing of voting machines or devices prior to each election and the submission of testing records to the secretary of state. The ballot law commission shall make such rules as may be necessary in order that voting machines or devices for computerized [casting and] counting of ballots may be used in this state in such a manner that the election laws may be complied with as far as possible. Said commission shall have the power and authority in making rules to declare certain laws relative to distribution and marking of ballots and other requirements inconsistent with the use of voting machines or devices ineffective in towns and cities adopting such a method of voting. The presiding officer at each polling place shall enforce the rules of the ballot law commission made under the authority of this section.

3 Casting and Lever Voting Machines Deleted. Amend RSA 656:43 and RSA 656:43-a to read as follows:

656:43 Lease or Purchase. Any town or city authorizing the use of a voting machine or a device for computerized [casting and] counting of ballots shall pay the cost of lease or purchase. When such a machine or device is purchased by a town or city, the person from whom such machine is purchased shall give to the secretary of state a suitable bond with sufficient sureties to keep such machine in good working order for not less than 2 years at the seller’s own expense.

656:43-a Replacement. If a city or town decides to replace all of its [lever voting machines or] devices for computerized [casting and] counting of ballots, it may, as a substitute, use the regular hand counted paper ballot system or one of the several approved voting machines or devices for the counting of ballots which reads the voter’s choice on a paper ballot.

4 Casting Deleted. Amend RSA 659:23, II to read as follows:

II. The provisions of paragraph I shall not apply in cities and towns which use one or more voting machines or devices for computerized [casting and] counting of ballots, as provided in RSA 656:40.

5 Casting Deleted. Amend RSA 659:42 to read as follows:

659:42 Tampering With Voting Machines. Whoever shall tamper with or injure or attempt to injure any voting machine or device for the computerized [casting and] counting of ballots to be used or being used in an election or whoever shall prevent or attempt to prevent the correct operation of such machine or device or whoever shall tamper with software used in the [casting or] counting of ballots or design such software so as to cause incorrect tabulation of the ballots or any unauthorized person who shall make or have in his or her possession a key to a voting machine to be used or being used in an election shall be guilty of a class B felony if a natural person or guilty of a felony if any other person.

6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

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