HB1486 (2018) Detail

Relative to "over voted" ballots.










AN ACT relative to "over voted" ballots.


SPONSORS: Rep. D. Ley, Ches. 9


COMMITTEE: Election Law






This bill requires that a ballot counting device return an "over voted" ballot to the voter for correction.


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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen


AN ACT relative to "over voted" ballots.


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


1  Electronic Ballot Counting Devices; Rules.  Amend RSA 656:42, VIII(e)(7)-(11) to read as follows:

(7)  The testing shall demonstrate rejection of over voted and completely blank ballots that register no vote.

(8)  If the electronic ballot counting device's tally does not match the count of the town or city clerk, the clerk shall notify the moderator, who shall order that the electronic ballot counting device not be used at the election.

[(8)] (9)  The pre-election test shall be completed no later than the Wednesday immediately prior to the election.

[(9)] (10)  The town or city clerk shall document the pre-election test by preserving:

(A)  The test ballots.

(B)  The count of votes on the test ballots made by the town or city clerk.

(C)  The results from the electronic ballot counting device that was tested.

[(10)] (11)  The clerk shall test all electronic ballot counting devices and memory cards in the possession of the town or city.

[(11)] (12)  Prior to placing the electronic ballot counting device or any memory card into service in an election, the moderator shall certify that there is evidence that pre-election testing was conducted on each electronic ballot counting device and each memory card in the town or city clerk's possession, and that these devices and cards have passed the test.

2  New Paragraph; Electronic Ballot Counting Devices; Rules; Over Votes.  Amend RSA 656:42 by inserting after paragraph VIII the following new paragraph:

IX.  To comply with section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252 and RSA 659:64, the vendor programming the electronic ballot counting device shall require that a ballot that includes a federal office and which contains more than the allowable number of votes for an office on the ballot, known as an over voted ballot, or a completely blank ballot registering no vote, be returned to the election day voter for possible correction before the ballot is counted.  The secretary of state shall establish protocols for local election officials to ensure that voters have the opportunity, in a private and independent manner, to change the ballot or correct any error before the ballot is counted, including the opportunity to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot.  Ballots of absentee voters and those who choose not to correct or replace the ballot shall be placed in an auxiliary compartment and counted by the election officers.

3  New Subparagraph; General Content of Return; Over Voted Ballots.  Amend RSA 659:73, IV by inserting after subparagraph (j) the following new subparagraph:

(k)  For each election that includes a federal office, the number of over voted ballots.  

4  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 30 days after its passage.


HB1486 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 23, 2018 House Hearing
Feb. 13, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 6, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1486 Revision: 2090 Date: Nov. 6, 2017, 1:01 p.m.


March 6, 2018: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 03/06/2018 HJ 6 P. 30

: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 20-0; CC)

March 6, 2018: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/06/2018 (Vote 20-0; CC) HC 9 P. 16

: Committee Report: Ought to Pass (Vote 20-0; CC)

Feb. 13, 2018: Executive Session: 02/13/2018 11:00 AM LOB 308

Jan. 23, 2018: Public Hearing: 01/23/2018 11:00 AM LOB 308

Jan. 3, 2018: Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Election Law HJ 1 P. 12